• Category Archives Spinneyhead
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    Whilst desperately seeking backed up stuff after the PC crash, I discovered a few pieces I wrote which could have gone into Ten Years Asleep, but I forgot about. So-

    They had promised each other that they wouldn�t be as slovenly as during their student years. Privately they had admitted to themselves that this was a lie.
    The one mod. con. the house lacked was a dishwasher, so cutlery and crockery piled up in and around the kitchen sink.
    Derek, manager and accountant that he was, surveyed the debris and decided that there should be a dish washing rota. After eating a pork chop on a bed of noodles he added the plate to the pile and went up to his room to type it up on his computer. When he sat down he discovered the Quake mission disk he hadn�t finished yet and decided on a quick game.
    Paul was an engineer and ever practical. He set about cleaning the kitchen up. He stacked the plates, with the largest at the bottom and saucers at the top, and placed the bowls atop these. Cups and mugs were regimented, presenting arms in the shape of forks, knives and spoons. Pans and other utensils were stacked precariously. He was about to fill the washing bowl with warm water and detergent when he remembered it was time for Star Trek, and decided the washing up could wait until afterwards.
    Gareth, applying his skewed memory of various sciences, had concluded that there was a median level of washing, about which the pile fluctuated. The current amount was at the dirty far end of the bell curve. He washed a plate, saucepan, large bowl, fork and spoon to bring the pile down a few percentiles. Then he used the clean items to cook and consume a large amount of pasta.

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    Blogger was having issues yesterday, here’s the pic.

    The Eliza Effect is going to start jumping around the plot soon, as I write scenes as and when I think of them.

    Lacking inspiration, and in an effort to find out how and why I was shafted last year, I’m thinking of playing the Data Protection card on my old department to see what they release to me. I expect to see lots of e-mails asking why I couldn’t be in two places at once, doing the impossible before it was requested.

    Bitter? Me?

    You bet.

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    Not a lot to say tonight. I mean to get off line and do some work on Bulletproof Poets. Here’s today’s pic an a bit more of The Eliza Effect. Be warned, the links go exactly where they say.

    Paul had sat down and swiped his mouse across its mat three times before he realised the problem. “Some bugger’s stolen me computer.”
    “Who would want to steal your PC? Wandering bands of Pentium thieving Gypsys? Tech Support of course.”
    “What the fuck would Tech Support want with a computer?”
    “But it does give you a chance to go see Sarah.”
    “I’m out of here.”
    “What did you mean, ‘Maybe she wasn’t a lesbian before the Christmas party.�'”

    Sarah had been segregated from the rest of Tech Support, because she worked for Sales and they were different. It had worked out quite well, because the partition gave her more room. There were four desktop cases and two monitors on one table and a naked case on the other. Sarah was hooking yet another case up to a monitor. “Oh, hi.”
    “Hello. Did you, er�.. Do you have my PC?”
    “That one there�” She indicated the topless box. “You requested a memory upgrade and CD drive.”
    “That was three months ago.”
    “There was a pile of work orders on the desk. I guess no-one had bothered to deal with them.” Sarah indicated her out pile, weighted with a coffee cup.
    “Oh, I’m not complaining, I’m more sort of surprised. It took me five months to get a bin I could call my own.”
    “Oh, well. George told to do them all ASAP. There’s another for a printer upgrade. It’s something to do with a project your working on.”
    “A project we’ve almost finished. Oh well.” He spotted the PC she had been plugging in. “That’s not a company build.”
    “George has got me working on his home PC.”
    “He had one of that lot,” Paul thumbed in the direction of the rest of Tech Support, “doing that as well. Installed a hard drive.”
    “They didn’t do too good a job. Formatted it wrong, and now I have to run off a backup to CD so I can reformat. Except�..”
    “Except?” Paul leaned in close so he could look at the screen over Sarah’s shoulder.
    She had opened Windows Explorer, and selected the properties of the hard drive. The piechart was all pink. Sarah tapped it. “George has only gone and filled the bloody thing right up hasn’t he. I need to find something to delete so I can make room for the drivers.”
    “Try the temporary Internet files. That folder can get quite big.”
    “Good idea. There. Hey, it lists all the places he’s been. Let’s see. Amazon. Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.”
    “What dull surfing.”
    “Amazon, Amazon, Amazon�” Ann Summers?”
    “I didn’t even know he was married.”
    “Let’s see where else he’s been.”

    Nastyschoolgirl dot com?” Mike asked. “Nasty. Schoolgirl. Dot. Com?”
    “Indeed. But that was just one visit. He’d been to must have been every single page of the Ann Summers site. I’ll never be able to look at him again with out seeing the words ‘Realistic jelly feel’. And to top it all off, then we got to the photo personals.”
    “You didn’t see�.?”
    “Don’t know. They blank out the faces.”
    “That does it. I’m wiping my Internet cache. Where is the King of the swingers anyway?”
    “‘Taking a meeting’ with someone from head office.”
    “Oh God, that means he’s claiming the system was all his idea.”

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    Blogger was having issues on Thursday, and I was out last night, so I’ve missed some updates. Here’s the Last Page of Bulletproof Poets, Pic of the day for March 1st and today’s pic.
    Every five or six weeks, my employment agency forgets to pay me. They did it again yesterday. They remembered to pay me my holiday pay for last Friday, but neglected to add the cash for the days I worked in the same week. It’s sort of like the payroll equivalent of being unable to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.

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    I’m going back to my geek roots, I think it’s some sort of life crisis thing. Not a mid-life crisis, I haven’t hit that age yet, more third-of-life (I reckon 96 is a good age). I’ll save the fast cars and young women until then, for now I’ve started buying models and RPG games. This is stuff I haven’t touched since my teens, I thought I’d grown out of it.

    Ah well. Anyone for a game of Car Wars?

    Anyway, quite enough of that. Here’s Page 27 of Bulletproof Poets and another bit of The Eliza Effect-


    Paul returned, reading a sheet of paper. Despite being engrossed in the information, he managed to side-step the various obstacles and find his seat.

    �Where�ve you been?�

    �I was walking past George�s desk and his e-mail was open. He had Sarah�s CV up on it.� He flicked to the second page, �Quite impressive.�

    �You fancy her don�t you?�

    �There�d be something wrong with me if I didn�t. It�s not like I�m going to do anything about it. She�ll have a boyfriend. It�s Company policy not to employ single women. Hell, even the ones I don�t fancy have got boyfriends.�

    �There must be some who are single.�

    �Name one.�

    Mike thought about this for a while, then went back to typing. It was lunchtime before he thought of an answer. �Judy Price.�


    �Judy Price, in accounting. She�s single.�

    �She�s a lesbian.�

    �Oh. No wonder I didn�t get anywhere at the Christmas party.” He stared at code for a while, contemplating the placement of a loop. “I bought her three drinks. Are you sure she�s a dyke?�

    �Maybe she wasn�t before the Christmas party, but she certainly is now.�

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    I’ve updated the Eliza Effectfront page. Now with comments on some of the subchapters.

    Page Seventeen of Bulletproof Poets.

    I’m thinking of setting up a secondary Blog, a sort of scrapbook, for all the ideas bouncing around my head which aren’t connected to these two projects. One of them is Seeds, a space opera in the Iain M Banks mould. At the start of the 22nd century, man sent giant automated terraforming machines out into the galaxy, pointed at likely stars, which were to be followed by generation ships of colonists. However, then there was a cataclysm- war, plague, I’m not sure- and mankind had to spend millennia struggling back up the development ladder. Along the way a great deal of biological diversity, historical data and information about culture was lost. Now the human race is a genetic dead end, which can only survive by harvesting the genomes from the Seeds. They’ve discovered wormholes, so the travelling time to some of the seeded planets is far lower (though there’s still the time dilation effects) and expeditions are on the way to get what they can.

    Of course, it’s not that simple. Seeds landed on planets with existing eco-systems and cross bred. And some of the databases were corrupted with Earth cultural and historic references and occasional fantasy. There be Dragons, and worse, on some of the worlds.

    Each Seed recovery encounters new and unusual problems. I’m going to start building up details for one world and the adventures on that. If it’s a success, I’ll move on to others.

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    Blogger’s been having minor issues, so I only just managed to publish the last few days worth of posts.

    Yesterday’s pic, and today’s.

    Today I mastered the Faceplant and the Arsebrake, two important skills for the beginner snowboarder. Then I went and confused some poor woman by trying to arrange lessons in my awful Franglais. I ache all over, but I feel good about it.

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    I haven’t double checked, but an article appeared in the company magazine today and I think this is how it read-

    Most of us could just about manage to make dinner and read the paper after work � Ian Pattinson, though, is a regular word machine.
    After a full day in Staines, designing databases to improve the efficiency of the sales force, he still has the energy to write novels � not just one either. In his words: �I hope to produce a novel every six to nine months, in a number of genres and experimenting with different styles every time.�
    Ian�s latest novel is made up of two stories � Another Education and Ruby Red � both set in fictional university towns in the north of England. They�ve been made available as print on demand from Planetree Publishing.
    In Another Education, a group of friends are trying to reconcile study, politics, job-hunting, romance and beer, when the community is hit by murder. Ruby Red is the story of a bereavement, a new romance�and a deaf cat with no tail.
    �I do my writing in the evenings and at weekends, between learning to snowboard and games on the Playstation 2,� says Ian. �I also maintain a website �www.spinneyhead.co.uk � where I show samples of my work.
    Already in the offing is a 7� square comic about an ill-fated musician and his band, and a workplace comedy called The Eliza Effect.