100 Things

Catching up on 100 Things

I’ve just been updating the 100 Things to do list and realised that I could cross a few off.

Producing Memory means that I’ve made a film. I’m doing pre-production (ie writing a script, mostly) on the next Spinneyhead production and looking for actors and others to help out.

I recently crossed the 100 Gbyte threshold of MP3s (though I’m nowhere near owning a thousand albums, that would require far more disk space).

I was an extra for a TV programme earlier this month, and I’ll be looking out for more opportunities to do it again.

I’ve also crossed off Go Guerilla Gardening, which I have done, even if the results haven’t been very successful.

Some of the Things in the hundreds have been drafted in to fill gaps in the list, for the sake of neatness. No new Things have been added, even though I am now below 100 total. However, I am open to suggestions, and offers of help with the remaining ones (particularly from cheerleaders) will be gratefully accepted.

100 Things – editing the Things

Having reinstated the 100 Things list I have decided to remove some of the ideas- and call for suggestions to replace them- and edit others.

8. Take part in a foursome

According to the Purity Test, a foursome is an orgy. So this has been removed as a duplicate Thing.

10. Make it into the Popdex (and/or Blogdex) top 100

This one isn’t being removed as such, it’s just that with Digg etc. it’s not such a static target. Maybe it should now be “Rank highly on a top link popularity site.” or something.

12. Make a living from writing

Is now “Make a living from Spinneyhead.”

72. Do roman chariot racing with big fat men in place of horses

Because it’s just silly. It’s dropped.

Actually, that was fewer than I thought I’d be removing. I must be feeling more optimistic than when I resurrected the list. That’s only two new Things that are required. Suggestions in the comments please.

Whilst I’m on the subject, a lot of work was put into the Perfect Sex Toy design only to find companies bringing out products with our desired features. Now, if you’re not so geeky that you have no free USB ports, you can get a simple USB powered massager (affiliate link) for use at the keyboard. It’s just a simple on/off device with no way to tie it to your activity, but it’s a start.

(Bonus affiliate links- I Rub My Duckie, Ernie’s favourite toy gone naughty, and I Rub My Devil Duckie, which is the same product with added horns.)

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That list in full

In fact, here is the whole 100 Things list as it currently stands. I’ve updated links but not any of the aims. Reminders of things I have done are welcome, as are suggestions for removal and replacement.

(Some of the later Things name the people who came up with them during a drunken brainstorming session.)

1. Play croquet

I don’t even know the rules to croquet.

2. Play strip croquet

Ah, the effect that Heathers can have on you.

3. Cycle the Coast to Coast

4. Keep a tidy house

Without calling in any sort of housekeeping services.

5. Live for (at least) three months in another country

6. Shoot Tony Blair

Already done that.

6. Try to get elected

What to, I don’t know.

7. Take part in a threesome

Yes, I know I’m not even participating in any twosomes at the moment, but this is a long term list. (And if I do achieve this one, I probably won’t announce it.)

8. Take part in a foursome

9. Take part in an orgy

Is an orgy 5 or more? Or is there an official lower limit to an orgy? Are there different imperial and metric orgies?

10. Make it into the Popdex (and/or Blogdex) top 100

Which will be good all round. If I can manage to make it onto the list regularly, even better.

Edit Popdex has started behaving oddly, I’ll settle for getting on the Blogsnow list instead.

11. Mention sheep and still get laid

12. Make a living from writing

13. Make a film

It doesn’t have to be a feature length movie, but that would be the next step.

14. Get out of debt

I’ll discount any mortgage from this requirement, and just allow for clearing overdrafts and loans.

15. Become a millionnaire

Foreign currency counts.

16. Climb the highest peaks in each country of the United Kingdom

17. Learn to juggle

18. Build a model village

19. Upset the Daily Mail so much that they run a story about me being a threat to the nation’s morals

20. Visit the beaches of D-Day, and the little town of Quenast my grandparents’ house was named after

21. Visit Pearl Harbour

22. Read Moby Dick

Gratuitous Zelig reference.

23. Get interviewed by Richard and Judy

Or a passable equivalent.

24. Own a Land Rover

And actually use it for off roading.

25. Have a bike for every day of the week

Mountain bike, Jump bike/BMX, road bike, recumbent, folding, commuter, unicycle.

26. Give a grand to charity

Not raise a grand, but give one. Raising a grand should be possible, especially if I do 27.

27. Do over a hundred miles on the Bogle Roll

My plan for next year’s Roll. I’ll need to get another of my 7 bikes to do it.

28. Learn to snowboard

29. Get a dog

But not whilst I’m living in the city.

30. Own a thousand CDs (or have 100 Gbytes of MP3s on my computer.)

I’m going to cheat and allow CD singles in this.

31. Attend the Glastonbury festival

32. Roast my own coffee

Done that.

33. Send a dirty text message

34. Propose to someone

35. Fly in a hot air balloon

36. Go to a shooting range

37. Spend a whole day watching all three of the Lord of the Rings films back to back

Extended cuts.

38. Buy a house

39. Own a piece of Microsoft

40. Moblog

First done here, then conclusively here, here and here. And regularly since.

41. Canoe on the Thames

42. Figure out the question

43. Brew beer

44. Learn a new language

Spoken, not computer. And not Klingon.

45. Start a craze

46. Make love in a hammock

This one inspired by The Sure Thing

47. Visit every continent

48. Fly a helicopter

49. Build a tree house

50. Hold a party for a hundred people

51. Make love outdoors

The roundabout incident doesn’t count as it was unplanned, drunken horniness. However, I could go for getting 46 at the same time.

52. Join the Mile High Club

53. Join the Mile Low Club

In a cave or down a mine.

54. Join the Two Metres High club

On a train. Sleeper carriages count.

55. Exceed 40mph on a bike

Downhill counts.

56. Build a house

57. Learn to play a musical instrument

58. Get a signed letter from a serving head of state

Probably not going to be Tony, though.

59. Break a record

Even if it is for the silliest ‘Hundred things to do’ list.

60. Burn all my CD singles to MP3

61. Appear on Have I Got News For You?

This will probably be just before or just after offending the Daily Mail.

62. Swim with Dolphins

It was going to be swim with monkeys, but I reckon any mammal will do

63. Visit Japan


64. Get a HGV or Motorcyle licence

The motorcycle licence would be cooler, but I value my limbs the shape they are.

65. Learn Morse code

66. Attend Burning Man

There were also plans to create a BM equivalent in the Scottish Highlands, to be called Soggy Man.

67. Dance naked in the rain

68. Drive a race/ rally car

69. Fulfil Sabs’ dream of seeing me walk out of Lyme Park lake wearing breeches.

Penny. Well, it was Sabs’ idea originally, but Penny added it to the list.

70. Get a woman to pose in the nude (for my comic.)

Zoe. I asked Zoe if she’d pose naked for me, but she said no. Shame. I’ve also widened the scope to posing for anything, just to improve my chances. Any volunteers?

71. Play UV pool


72. Do roman chariot racing with big fat men in place of horses.

Zoe. This is a far nicer version of Lesley’s suggestion of ‘Become a pony boy.’

73. Flash at a concert audience

Penny. Originally ‘Flash at a Status Quo audience’ but I’ve expanded it.

74. Be a model at an Ann Summers party


75. Swim the full length of the Bridgewater Canal

Penny. So long as I don’t h
ave to do it in the actual canal.

76. Learn the national anthems of the Six Nations

Penny and Lesley.

77. Design a sex toy

Zoe and Penny. Full description- ‘Design a sex toy and advertise for testers and reach quality standards for ISO and BSS’. By setting such stringent conditions they just volunteered to be the first testers. There then followed a brainstorming session on what would make a perfect sex toy, the notes from which will form the basis of a future post.

This project is under way. After posting the list of recommended features, I received quite a peak in hits. I have now moved on to the shopping list for building the test version.

In the meantime, there is a range of Perfect Sex Toy clothing- Ladies top, Ladies Tank Top and Long Sleeve T Shirt.

78. Be an extra on a TV programme.

Emily. She originally stipulated Hollyoaks, but it was decided I wasn’t blonde enough.

79. Buy lingerie for a woman

Penny. In person, from a shop. Original conditions- ‘Buy a woman a thermal vest in person from Pleasure and a matching set from Kendals including peep hole bra and crotchless knickers whilst dressed in a flowery dress.’

80. Buy the Pete Waterman (SAW) compilation album

Penny. She insists it’s not because she’s too ashamed to buy it herself. It could have been worse, she could have suggested the karaoke version

81. Learn to salsa

Penny and Lesley. I’d also like to learn to make the perfect salsa dip.

82. Have sex in an ambulance or hearse

Penny and Harry. Originally an ambulance or ‘vehicle of the dead’ while on the move.

83. Grow a bonsai tree

Penny. A bit of wishful thinking considering I killed my last two bonsai. My sister did buy me The Art of the Bonsai Potato for Christmas.

84. Have a drink in every CAMRA pub in Manchester

Harry. Originally it also said ‘within one week’ but I edited that out.

85. Get an 8 pint certificate from The Crown in Stockport.

What they actually do is put your name on a board in the pub and, allegedly, get you a tankard engraved with your name.

Anyway, the challenge has been done, and recorded here and up. Pictures.

86. Get zipped up in a US style body bag.

Harry. Only if I can take a big knife in to cut my way out.

87. Create art using my body.

Penny. Originally ‘Create modern art using your body and any other body using bandages, plaster of paris and vaseline and get it displayed in a gallery.’

88. Get a piece of art displayed in a gallery

Me, but inspired by 87. I’m allowed to do a Banksy.

89. See a psychiatrist

Penny. After some of these suggestions I’ll have to.

90. See a psychosexual counsellor

Penny. See above. And I think this should also apply to some of the people supplying suggestions.

91. Bowl on the Bowling Green again.

Emily. That is, the bowling green that used to be in front of UMIST union. They’ve done horrible things to it. Does boules count?

92. Attend a televised awards ceremony

93. Learn a programming language

Properly, not in the half arsed way I learnt to gaffer tape routines together in VBA. Griff says that C# is quite a lucrative area to be in.

94. Visit every Disneyland

This was actually Griff’s aim, but I stole it.

This aim has been removed from the list.

95. Get a free crate of Glenfiddich

Sometimes breweries will gift crates of their products to writers who mention them. I’m also open to offers of Jennings Sneck Lifter.

96. Go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef

97. Get as close to an active volcano as possible

98. Attend a gala movie premiere

Hell, if Rebecca Loos can do it, so can I. But I’m not shagging any footballers except
these two.

99. Publish a cook book

My sister’s been promising to write one for a while now. I must get her to finish it.

100. Get ‘Ian Seat’ into the OED

Being the position in a crowded room, bar, etc, which has the least advantageous view for eyeing up members of the opposite sex.

101. Burn all my CDs to MP3

102. Eat in, or from, every restaurant and kebabery in Rusholme.

Which could be a year or so’s work. Longer, considering how rarely I eat out. It’s not called the Curry Mile for nothing.

This replaces 94.

103. Go Guerilla Gardening

Next spring I’m walking around Manchester with a stick and a pocket full of seeds. I’m going to plant peas and herbs and other veg in flowerbeds and hedges.

104. Follow the route of the M60 by bike

Utilising side streets, riverbanks and paths.

105. Appear in a TV commercial.

Because they pay residuals. If it got shown enough, I could almost live off it.

106. Make love with a cheerleader.

Every American boy’s dream.

105 and 106 are provisional. If no-one can come up with better suggestions, they stay!

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The return of 100 Things

After accidentally deleting the whol of Spinneyhead before Easter, the 100 Things To Do page wasn’t reinstated. I was talking about it last night and decided it should return.

Some of the things are out of date now, so I may go back in a while and edit it. Suggestions will be welcomed.

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New Year blogging resolutions

Over at Problogger Darren has opened the comments section for fellow bloggers to outline their plans/ resolutions for the New Year. I accidentally spread mine over two comments, and thought they should be reprinted here so you can catch me out on them this time next year-

Maintain the gradient of my earnings trendline. The numbers under the trendline are still quite low- a 30 day average of $2 a day across all income streams and all blogs- but the gradient is nearly 1 in 3 so if I can maintain that I’ll be making a (low) living wage by Easter.

I have a few projects lined up for the niche blogs to create original content and set them apart. I doubt I’ll get them all done, but they are-

Build a bike (or recumbent trike, I just bought some cheap plans for one) for the cycling blog- http://spinneyhead.co.uk/2wheels/

Get a crop from the allotment for the gardening blog- http://www.spinneyhead.co.uk/Dig/

Build lots of models for the modelling blog- http://www.spinneyhead.co.uk/Scale

Make some videos for the extreme sports blog- http://www.spinneyhead.co.uk/gravity/

And write a novel.

I also want to get a lot more contributors for my global blog Spinneyworld.

It’s a lot of stuff to do whilst keeping up with all the relevant news and doing a day job, but I’d rather aim high.

I think I ought to add- as people were asking about them this morning- attempt to complete more of the tasks in my Hundred Things list.

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You can see for feet up here

I spent an hour and a bit in a cloud yesterday, constantly having those horrible moments where you think you’ve reached the top only for a gap to appear and more mountain to become obvious. Despite a lot of rain the day before and a few moments when we thought we’d have to turn back, we made it to the top of Sca Fell Pike. I took a lot of shots on my phone cam which I’m going to try and stitch together to create a time lapse film of the trek. The battery died before we reached the top and it doesn’t have the Doctor Who landscape we had to scramble across, but it’ll give an impression of the walk.

One third of one of my 100 Things completed.

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The first days of the rest of my (blogging) life

I’m a few days into treating blogging as a full time job. My explanation still hovers somewhere between this being what I really want to do and something I’m doing until a new job comes along. Hopefully I’ll soon be earning enough to stop apologising for my choice.

The Plan

The simple motivator is my transition to New Deal and the government’s desire for me to stop being a statistic. What this means, in practical terms, is training in the basics of cashflow and book keeping then six months of supported trading. during that period I stay on benefits and any money I make goes into a business account, only to be touched for business use. At the end of the six months they give me my cheque book and I’m left to sink or swim.

What’s the business plan? Well it’s a collection of vague and specific aims.


Increase revenue by raising readership and optimising the various advertising and other money making schemes.

More specifically-

Relaunch Eco House as How to Save the World for Free (a name right on the cusp between catchy and clunky, I admit), get it some media coverage and use it as a stepping stone to, preferably, a TV programme or, at least, a book.

Pimp up Spinneyhead. I see the site continuing as a repository of silly stuff with new material and the occasional bit of home made, and hopefully viral, media like the parrot.

Expand the Spinneyhead family. Not much chance chance of challenging Gawker or WeblogsInc but there are a few specialist areas to cover. Launched recently was Spinneyhead Scale, dedicated to modelmaking and tracking down online resources for modellers. Coming soon- Digest, covering foods, diet and general health stuff and Spinneyworld- local news from around the world.

Sell more stuff. This starts with make more stuff. I’ve fallen behind on the one product per week plan from the start ofc the year, it’s time to catch up. Obviously, every piece of merchandise will say Spinneyhead on it somewhere, all part of spreading the name.

Other stuff, including an increase in comments on other blogs and the use of trackbacks whenever possible. I’ll consider lots of things to raise my profile, within reason, particularly anything that’ll get a mention in the mainstream media. (I am not putting on a Batman outfit and pulling any Fathers4Justice style stunts.)

How to make money, and how much I need to make

I’ve discussed previously how much I’d be willing to live on. Minimum wage is currently �4.85. Assuming a 7 1/2 hour that equates to �36.37 per day, �9457.50 per year for a 5 day week. Is that possible? Of course it is, or there wouldn’t be any pro bloggers for me to take advice from. Can I manage it within 6 months? There’s the question.

So far Google AdSense has proven the best performing of the schemes I’ve signed up to. This month I’m averaging just over $1 a day. Last month was a better $1.60. Nowhere near what I need to be making, but it’s a start, something to build on.

Amazon is the next best payer. I get a few sales every quarter, but not always enough to trigger payout. The shop has generated a small amount of income, and the affiliate schemes haven’t been going long enough to get a good read on them.

The obvious first step toward increased revenue has to be the increase in traffic. Ad revenue and affiliate sales aren’t directly proportional to traffic, but getting the links in front of more eyeballs can’t hurt. In terms of AdSense I need to work on improving the value of each click- the headlines from How to Save the World for Free aren’t just there to cross promote, they’ve also convinced Google to serve me more than just ads for blogging services.

Amazon have recently improved their methods for building links, and I’ve been taking advantage of them. You’ll have noticed the highlighted boxes at the right or left of occasional posts, much more enticing than text links. I’ve also started doing more reviews. I’m being honest in them. I wouldn’t try to sell you Catwoman for instance (though, if you really must, please use the link I just provided), so when I say something is worth buying you can believe me.

I’ve already mentioned the first step to improving merchandise sales- make more of it. On top of that I have to get some of it into shops. Discontinuous Infill is stocked by one shop in Manchester, and I’m trying to get it press attention and more outlets for issue 2. Manchester has seasonal markets and my sister is looking at getting a stall at one of them. If I can go in with her on that I should be able to sell some stuff and generate some interest.

I’m still not sure what to do with the affiliate programmes. Would anyone like a Free Mini Vibrator?

In the long term I see a book. Not a book about blogging, far too many people have done those, possibly a tale of the successes and failures in my 100 Things quest and definitely something tied into How to Save the World for Free. If webcomicsnation ever gets off the ground I’d still like to do a webcomic and I’ve been mulling over a few part formed ideas for novels. But most likely this will take me in a direction I don’t expect.

So there you are. The state of the Spinneyhead nation as of Tuesday this week. Team Spinneyhead members- when I start turning a healthy profit you shall be paid an amount commensurate with your posting volume. Possibly in beer or chutney.

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Fewer Things

I’ve decided that it could get a bit depressing always having 100 things to aspire to. So far I’ve always added new goals to the 100 Things list every time I crossed one off. But I’m finding it hard to think up new aims. The last new one- Make love with a cheerleader– was a little silly. (I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it, it’d be fun. Silly, but fun.) So, until the list comes down to a manageable level, I’m not going to replenish it.


So, another thing crossed off the 100 things list. I’ll consult with my model before posting the results to the gallery, so you’ll just have to take my word for it for now.

I’d like to do a Hockney style photo-collage, if anyone’s interested in standing or sitting still for that long. It’d be a full 360, so I could try to make one of those QTVR panorama shots from it.

On the sex toy front it seems that all the development is being done for me by third partys. Wired’s sex editor does a quick review and concludes that the really interesting developments are being made in products for men.

The Lord of Lawn Sports

Tim sent me a link to the rules of croquet and wondered why there had been so little news on the 100 Things front.

Mostly, the break in achievements is down to a simple lack of money. Very few of the goals can be achieved without some outlay. There’s also the matter of going back to school and the annual onset of what I swear is SAD as the nights draw in.

However, I have been sowing seeds as part of the guerilla gardening (no. 103). That won’t be deemed complete until things start sprouting in Spring. The initial phase of the music video (almost a film- no. 13) is under way- I have promises of equipment, several possible locations and some software to learn. I may change 99- Publish a cook book- to Publish a book of photos to encourage the grafitti and signage project along. However, one of the briefs for the second year of the course is to layout a cookbook in Quark. I guess that’s part way there.

Number 97 is Get as close as possible to an active volcano. I’m edging more and more toward just relying on the Mount St Helens webcam. I found the cam on blogdex, and getting into its top 100 is still on the list. Popdex, however, seems to have ground to a halt and only lists ten things, so perhaps I won’t aim that high. I’ll try for blogsnow instead. I wore my Must Not Mention Sheep T shirt to the ‘Stuff concert. Didn’t pull, but at least I was trying.

Overall, work on the list is continuing, if a little low key. Now, if any ladies would like to pose naked or get it on in a hammock, please get in touch.

If only everything in life was as reliable as……

One of my 100 Things is to clear my debts. Just to make it harder, maybe I should extend it to getting money owed to me paid back.

Right now my principal debtor has had a month and a half and still failed to complete the five minute task of picking a Paypal option and pressing the button. And for the last three days, his answer when asked about this has been “Oh, I’ll do it tonight.” which has become the text message equivalent of The Cheque Is In The Post. Someone who told me he was making �40k a year shouldn’t begrudge a little money to pay back the guy who bailed him out continuously in 2001 and 2002 and is now heavily in debt partly because of those kindnesses.