Nous Sommes Charlie 09 Jan 2015
"Is God willing to prevent Evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh Evil? Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" [Epicurus. 341-270BC]... [ Read More ]
Nostradamus Corner 2015 01 Jan 2015
Well, my lovelies. Here we are again. I’ve been gazing in wonderment at my ball all morning, I’ve swirled the tea leaves round like a feckin’ Catherine Wheel and the chicken entrails are steaming away nicely. It’s time to visit that Twilight Zone-esque corner of space and time known as “Nostradamus Corner”, wherein I veritably sweep aside the curtain of the present and peer myopically into the future, to see what 2015 has in store for us all: Philae will sadly fail to wake from his winter nap as comet 67/P approaches nearer the sun.... [ Read More ]
Nostradamus Corner 2014 The Post-Mortem 31 Dec 2014
Hello there, dear readers tumbleweed! –and welcome to what has now become a bit of a tradition round my parts; namely my making a set of hopeless predictions for the year ahead, at the turn of the year. I’ll be making my risible predictions for next year tomorrow, but for now let’s see how I got on last year. Those of you out there of a gambling bent will soon realise that a good strategy to maximise your profitibility for the forthcoming solar soujourn is to note down my fuck-arsed visions of the future and then bet heavily on whatever the opposite of them all is.... [ Read More ]
Pull Me Push You 09 Dec 2014
Having dutifully read my previous post about migrating this blog to a Static Site Generator [namely Hugo], you might be wondering whether it’s not a major pain in the nether regions, having to keep reuploading the site, every time I change anything, rather than just posting new content directly via a web interface [a la Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, etc]. It probably would be, but for the joys of Git. Git is a system which allows you to keep “Repositories” ie.... [ Read More ]
Hugo If You Want To 08 Dec 2014
One of the things I want to get done, now I’ve got time to work on my own projects again, is to bring a lot of my various ‘web presences’ back under my control again –and also to update and [in some cases] add content to the sites, many of which have been sadly neglected of late. One of the first ‘guinea pigs’ for the challenge was to get this blog out of Tumblr which, although it had its useful aspects [ie.... [ Read More ]
Attic Attac 23 Nov 2014
One of the biggest hurdles the young matulevicz lad faces in attempting to return to the world of gainful Self-Employment and/or Lancing-of-the-Free-variety, is that his house is like a fucking tip. The gaff isn’t that big to start with and every room is pretty much utilised to the full, as far as cramming the available space full of junk goes. You couldn’t swing a hamster in here, much less a cat!... [ Read More ]
Katie Price Literary Review Centre 11 Nov 2014
I know you should never share a private joke –it won’t mean anything to anyone else. But, what the Hell. I’ve been slaving over a hot WordPress installation for nearly the past week and I’m determined to receive the adulation I deserve, for my tireless devotion to satire so subtle you could cut it with a knife [Does that even make sense?] Meet the Katie Price Literary Review Centre NO-ONE AT ALL: Ooh.... [ Read More ]
Happy Halloween 31 Oct 2014
Here’s my contribution to world culture for the occasion. Yes, I know. As an idea it’s about as original as a 1970s sitcom, but at least I tried! [I did try and capture the full majesty of it later, lit up at night, but I only had my phone camera on me and it turned out shite]... [ Read More ]
Roll Of Dishonour 18 Oct 2014
A list of staff members from within our small department alone, who have left over the past 5 years, since “You’ve Been Quango’d” and “The Rottweiler” took over: Mark Helen Graham Dan Maxine Sian Mike Johny Simon Paolo Ricardo Sweeney Yours Truly Hey! –I’m just saying. Don’t read anything into it. They were probably all just a bunch of useless employees who didn’t appreciate the open, honest and fair way in which they were being managed.... [ Read More ]
End Of An Era 16 Oct 2014
Well, today I trundled off on my bike for the last time from the old TMC mothership. For a number of reasons, I’ve decided to take Voluntary Severance, in the latest round of such redundancies and throw my sixteen years of teaching practise onto the scrapheap. Extremely tempted though I am to bow out with a valedictory rant, I shall resist the urge: my lovely students and the many lovely members of staff who I leave behind know the reasons I’m going, the management don’t give a shit and the rest of the world cares even less.... [ Read More ]
Introducing Project Mini-Me. 30 Jun 2014
Wherein our humble author attempts to recreate a caricature of himself through the medium of silicone. If all goes according to plan with regard to our equipment requests for next year, we should [amongst other things] be getting some new materials to work with for the Character Design unit and doing a bit of silicone casting. Now, back in the black’n’white days when I was a young jackanapes at art college and subsequently a slightly older jackanapes working in design, things like casting silicone were a futuristic pipe-dream, like hover cars and self-removing trousers.... [ Read More ]
Meet BoxComp 20 May 2014
It’s been a while since I posted anything here. In my few minutes of ‘me time’ during recent weeks, I’ve tended to do do more ‘left-brainy’ stuff than ‘right-brainy’, so there’s not been a lot to show for it, outside of my vacant skull. Anyway, part of my weekend tinkering of late has been to do with cryptocurrencies: I’ve become quite intrigued by the whole ‘digital goldrush’. As well as working on my own altcoin, I’ve been itching to do some hardware tinkering too.... [ Read More ]
Character Design 26 Mar 2014
This week, it was time to roll out the new Character Design unit, or Introduction to Methods, Materials and Making Processes, to give it its show name. We kicked off with the old classic 25 Expressions worksheets. Before springing it on them, I gave the students about 25 mins to come up with a character and then draw him/her/it [head only] from the front. As I’m not a complete bastard, I did give the students a few clues before they started, which would make for more “expressionable” characters, such as advising them to use the full complement of facial features and maybe also include eyebrows or ears, etc.... [ Read More ]
BBC IPlayer Without Flash On Mac OSX 15 Mar 2014
The other day an old work buddy asked me if there was a way he could listen to BBC Radio on iPlayer, without having to install that notorious collection of security holes known as Adobe Flash. I thought about various ways this might be done, ranging from installing Flip4Mac [hmmm… a Microsoft plugin to replace an Adobe one. Talk about ’out of the frying pan into the fire!] to using VLC to try and open the live streams, but everything I came up with seemed to be almost as dodgy, or more of a pain in the arse to set up, than even using Flash would be.... [ Read More ]
Nostradamus Corner 2014 02 Jan 2014
OK. The bones have been rattled. The entrails have been studied. The huge balls have been stroked. It’s time for the latest round in my occasional game of making a few predictions for the year ahead. So here, in no particular order, are the first ten visions which manifested themselves to me through rips in the very curtain of time itself. Remember to check back in January 2015 and marvel at how uncannily accurate these were: 1: US [with pet poodle in tow] will find a new 3rd world country to drop high explosive democracy and freedom on.... [ Read More ]
This Is The Voice Of Your Conscience Speaking... 18 Dec 2013
This morning as I stumbled bleary eyed from the shower, I spotted this tiny piece of paper on the bathroom floor and bent athletically to read it. Even allowing for the apparent ‘txt-speak’ of the ‘U’ it seemed to bear : “Infinity Will Speed You”. “What can it mean?” I thought, stylishly. “Who has carefully cut out this tiny missive and left it here on my bathroom floor? What are they trying to tell me?” “Infinity Will Speed You”.... [ Read More ]
Feet Of Clay 05 Dec 2013
Time for some more ‘WiPs’ or ‘works in progress’. I like that phrase. It neatly combines an impression of having had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from where you are straining to give birth to a work of monumental genius –with the removal of any expectation whatsoever on the part of the viewer that s/he is about to see is anything worth writing home about, at this stage. Meet Kolin The Kidney Bean.... [ Read More ]
Primary Lesson 26 Nov 2013
Yesterday I metaphorically ‘broke the sod’ on a wee project that’s been rattling about in the nether regions of my otherwise vacant skull for a while now. I’m not giving away too much at the minute –mainly because the idea is still in the embryonic stages– but if I say it involves a reindeer with a red nose, you probably get some idea of where this is going. Anyway, as the following sketchbook scans show, Initially I stupidly tried to draw a cartoon reindeer from my imagination, with the result that it ended up looking like someone had chewed up a load of pencil shavings and projectile vomitted them onto the page.... [ Read More ]
Naming Conventions For Doctor Who Episodes In XBMC 25 Nov 2013
As alluded to in a previous post, I had a right oul’ palaver at the weekend, trying to name my Doctor Who episode collection in such a way that XBMC would catalogue them properly. After trying various combinations of folders, subfolders and file naming conventions to try and cater for the fact that each ‘season’ is made up of several multi-part self-conatined stories, I eventually hit on the correct naming formula which is as follows: In retrospect, it may seem pretty obvious but, at the time, I thought I’d have to do some form of sub-organising within seasons to account for the distinct stories in each one.... [ Read More ]
The Best Doctor Who Story Never! 25 Nov 2013
At the weekend –inspired by the 50th anniversary shenanigans, I spent many an hour transferring my entire collection of original Doctor Who episodes from DVD onto the external hard drive on my media server, so I could access them directly through XBMC instead of faffing around with discs. Much fun and frivolity ensued, as I wrestled for quite a while, trying to find a naming convention for the files that would allow XBMC to index the episodes [about which, more in another post].... [ Read More ]
More From Bradford 14 Nov 2013
Of course, there’s more to the National Media Museum than just the BAF and, whenever I get up there, I like to have a mosey around at the other exhibits as well. Being the gadget freak that I am, I love sticking my nose into all the old broadcasting equipment, cameras, and computer gadgetry too. There is also an interesting section on the history of animation. Here are a few of the things which tickled my fancy from that particular department.... [ Read More ]
REVIEW: Bradford Animation Festival –Student Showcases 14 Nov 2013
Yesterday I made my, by now annual, pilgrimmage to the Bradford Animation Festival at the National Media Museum, to check out the latest goings on in the world of student animation, through the two Student Showcases. Overall, I found this year’s offerings a pretty mixed bag. There was some great stuff and some not so great and on balance I think the quality was ever-so-slightly better last year. However, it was a pretty decent show and –with so much production-line CGI about these days– it’s always nice to see some good ol’ fashioned hand-crafted animation and imaginative use of materials and techniques, for a change.... [ Read More ]
MOSI Try Harder 23 Oct 2013
Today we sent our entire first year and Alex’s Level 3 Art & Design students off to the Museum of Science and Industry [or MOSI to its mates], to have a gander at the exciting sounding Creating the Illusion: Animation in the North West exhibition. To quote the blurb: Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall met at Granada Television in 1959, and founded Cosgrove Hall Films 20 years later. Without Cosgrove Hall, there would be no animation industry in Manchester today.... [ Read More ]
Ollie The Ostrich 22 Oct 2013
Nice start to the day today, as someone of the managerial ilk arrived to do an unannounced Lesson Observation on me. No doubt in a couple of week’s time I’ll get the habitual feedback report telling me what an awful teacher I am again, because I didn’t have a lesson plan sitting in pride of place on my desk, formatted to official college standards on the official college spreadsheet and written in government issue edu-babble.... [ Read More ]
It'S Muybridge Time Again 21 Oct 2013
After several weeks of practising their drawing and mark-making skills, our hard working first years have finally reached the point were it’s time to start making things move. To this end, today I introduced them to the larger-than-life colourful character of Eadweard Muybridge, who was one of the first people to use photography to study how people and animals move. Thus making his ‘oeuvre’ a great source of research and reference material for budding animation students –especially those studying at a college which doesn’t have eleventy billion quids’ worth of MoCap equipment to call on.... [ Read More ]
What An Old Bag! 18 Oct 2013
You know you’ve been drawing too many cartoon self-portraits recently… When even some of the auction pics on eBay start looking vaguely familiar…... [ Read More ]
Animation Death Plunge Horror Shocker! 18 Oct 2013
The world of animation was rocked today by news of the tragic death of Mr. Mannfred B Mannekin, charismatic male model and Room 222 regular. Mr. Mannekin plunged to his death from a 3rd storey window at The Manchester College’s Fielden Park campus around 09:00 this morning. Police have refused to comment on eye-witness claims that jug-eared tutor stíobhart matulevicz was involved in the tragedy, although he was later seen being clubbed at truncheon point into the back of a police van and driven away at high speed, through crowds of jeering onlookers.... [ Read More ]
Speed Life Drawing 16 Oct 2013
Today we embarked on a nice intensive Life Drawing session. It wasn’t your traditional life drawing session though. For one, this was ‘speed’ life drawing, so we didn’t have the luxury of spending an hour at a time gazing at our ‘models’. Secondly, all our models remained fully clothed at all times –which was probably for the best, if the vision that confronts me in the bathroom mirror of a morning is anything to go by.... [ Read More ]
AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! –My Eyes! 12 Oct 2013
[Apologies: For the purposes of illustrating a point, this post contains projectile vomit of a visual nature] What in the name of anal ballbags is it with Tumblr and Tumblr users and animated-fucking-gifs? As if it wasn’t bad enough that every time I log into the site I have to scroll past at least three or four putrid blinking, flashing pieces of this digital excrement which people have seen fit to embed in their posts, it now seems that Tumblr have taken to vomiting them into the sidebar as well.... [ Read More ]
Single-Boot Debian Wheezy On MacBook Pro 4,1 12 Oct 2013
Fresh from all my “right side of the brain” wannabe-artistic efforts of the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d give old left-brain a bit of an outing and let him record how he [finally!] managed to get Debian Wheezy booting as the sole OS on an old MacBook Pro 4,1. Disclaimer: As everything Linux-related I attempt seems to comprise at least twice as much luck, voodoo and chicken entrail interpretation as it does ‘knowing-what-the-fuck-I’m-doing’, this is very much one of those YMMV kind of posts.... [ Read More ]
Mr. WiPpy 11 Oct 2013
My second years were being quite self-directed today, scribbling away furiously in their sketchbbooks, so I got time to do a bit of sketchbook work myself. Here is some more Work-in-Progress on the previously mentioned branding exercise I set my BA students last week. My final idea is slowly coalescing inside my vacant skull. It’s going to be some kind of 1950s style retro-themed promotional material for a “Design-Bot” robot toy.... [ Read More ]
Angels And Devils 08 Oct 2013
Yesterday we wheeled out our newly traditional Destroy Project with the 1st years, wherein they ‘destroy’ studio portraits of themselves. I didn’t have time to join in this year, but see last year’s write-up for more background info. The results were mixed: some nice imaginative ideas and creativity on display but, as always, a lot of the work was let down by terrible hand-rendered typography. Today’s task was a remix of the Destroy Project but with more focus on layout and typography: Working from photos taken yesterday for the Destroy Project and given a pile of glossy magazines to hack away at, the students were charged with using collage to produce two mock-up magazine covers.... [ Read More ]
Branding Exercise 03 Oct 2013
Just for a change from my 1st year doodlings, here is another ‘work-in-progress’ [WiP], this time based on a task I set my 3rd year BA students. First thing in the morning, we played an ice-breaker game whose fiendishly complicated rules I don’t propose to elaborate on at the minute, but which basically involved coming up ideas for logos for a range of everyday businesses, which were different to anything thought up by any of your classmates.... [ Read More ]
Texture Grids 01 Oct 2013
Another follow-up to the infamous Animation Street fiasco, this session was intended to try and get the students to re-engage with the idea of mark-making and illustrative pattern work. Each student marked out an A2 sheet of paper into a grid of 8 rectangles. They then had to fill each rectangle with an illustrative pattern based on some object observed in the world around them. The finished piece should work as an interesting abstract piece of art.... [ Read More ]
Walkies! 01 Oct 2013
This morning as a bit of a warm-up and loosen-off session to banish the memory of yesterday’s abortive Animation Street task, we had a session of that old classic parlour game “Taking Your Line For a Walk”. For the uninitiated, the idea is simple: each person scribbles on a piece of paper in front of them. The papers are then shuffled round in a variety of ways [to stop things becoming too predictable] so that everyone ends up staring blankly at someone else’s scribble, which has landed in front of them.... [ Read More ]
Animation Street 30 Sep 2013
This task was the next step in our attempts to get the students to think about using pattern and illustration to fill in areas of a design. The Sardinhas and My Dream Course tasks had both focussed on filling an internal shape. This task was intended to revisit our old friend ‘negative space’ by requiring the students to fill in the space around a piece of artwork. In the morning session, each student worked from a photograph of their house to produce a line-art version of their humble abode.... [ Read More ]
My Dream Course 30 Sep 2013
This idea was shamelessly lifted from the always inspirational Doodlers Anonymous website [you didn’t really think we make all this stuff up ourselves, do you?] A bit like the concept behind the aforementioned Sardinhas project, the idea is that you take a blank template of a book cover and then turn it into the cover of a textbook describing your ideal ‘school’ subject. Eschewing my natural inclinations to depict the cover of “Advanced Kebab & Guinness Consumption Studies”, I instead decided to throw together a cover for my second favourite academic subject of all time; the noble art of walrus juggling, as practised down through the generations by the sea-faring members of my family.... [ Read More ]
Something Fishy 30 Sep 2013
A while back I stumbled across the Sardines competition organised as part of the Festas de Lisboa. The concept is really simple: download an outline drawing of a sardine and then fill it with whatever springs to your creative mind. We thought it might be a good exercise for the students, to get them experimenting with pattern and design. There was quite a lot of productivity and creative work produced –but unfortunately none of it came from my end of the room.... [ Read More ]
Grid Drawing 25 Sep 2013
Today, as part of our campaign to allow us all to continue producing artwork after The Apocalypse comes and reduces all the computers, scanners and printers to smoking heaps of melted plastic, we set the students the task of magnifying a photograph through Grid Drawing: Overlay an acetate sheet with a grid ruled onto it on top of a photograph and then copy the content of the grid to a larger grid ruled on a sheet of drawing paper –thus reproducing the photograph at an enlarged size.... [ Read More ]
Still Life And Negative Space 24 Sep 2013
More drawing from life today. This time with a bit of a twist: First of all I gave the students a crash course in the art of drawing from life, using a pencil held at arm’s length to measure relative dimensions and angles. Once inducted into this mysterious art of ”looking like a proper artist”, we turned them loose on that old standby of art colleges down through the ages: the pile of boxes.... [ Read More ]
More Still Life 23 Sep 2013
In the afternoon session, we asked the students to experiment with using a variety of media in their still life drawings. We’re always amazed and a bit saddened to find out how many students embarking on an Art & Design course arrive with no experience of working with any art materials outside of horrible gritty supermarket own-brand HB pencils. So we throw a load of proper drawing pencils, charcoal, pastels, pen’n’ink, etc at them and we invite them to try their hand with as many as possible.... [ Read More ]
Another [Academic] Year Over... And A New One Just Begun 23 Sep 2013
[with apologies to John Lennon] Well, here we go again folks. After an inexcusable hiaitus from posting during the summer, your favourite half-witted lecturer is back again, pencils sharpened and raring to. In other words: I’m a firm believer in the principle of not asking other folks to do something you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself so, as ever I’ll be mucking in with my students [whenever tedious spreadsheet-sucking duties allow] in the various design challenges we set them during the coming year.... [ Read More ]
Them'S Good Broth Turned 3 Today 06 Jul 2013
Who’da thunk it, eh? I started this blog, so I could “lead by example” when banging on to my students about how important it was to maintain an online presence. And now, a mere three years later, I have a readership measured in the millions, my wise words have brought an end to war and poverty and —with the enormous sums I earn from a continual round of public appearances— I’ve been able to retire to this sun-kissed tropical island, where I spend my days snorting cocaine from the belly-buttons of dusky maidens, swilling Guinness by the gallon and living on kebabs [with extra chilis] flown in specially from Abdul’s in Manchester by private jet.... [ Read More ]
So Long And Thanks For All The Wish... Es 04 Jul 2013
Just running through the last few exit tutorials this week, before all my lovely second years are freed from my loving stranglehold and released into the big bad world. We’ve had some laughs and tears and fights over the past two years, but hopefully, for most of you, it was worthwhile in the end. If I wasn’t so wizened, gruff and cynical I might have allowed myself a poignant sniffle, reading the nice farewell messages on the card you wee divil’s got for me.... [ Read More ]
Stop The World. I Want To Get Off! 17 May 2013
Today, I present the crowning glory in the recent “improvements” to the network at college. Yes folks, the TMC firewall has just blocked the TMC’s own website “in accordance with organisational policy”. I give up. I’ve obviously fallen through a hole in the space/time continuum into a parallel universe, where galloping insanity is the norm.... [ Read More ]
Size Is Everything 13 May 2013
Funnily enough, only a couple of weeks ago, I was on the Aardman website, looking at their self-proclaimed World’s Smallest Animation, which was made using a microscope attachment on a smartphone camera. This is a tiny animation Pretty teeny-weeny stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree. But it seems that the world of animation is no more a stranger to the unstoppable march towards miniaturisation than the rest of the world of gadgetry.... [ Read More ]
What'S In A Nom? 13 May 2013
Those of you who are remotely interested in the ins, outs and quite possibly back-in-agains of academia may have witnessed Alex and me swimming against a tide of paperwork, even higher than normal, over the past few weeks. The reason for this was that we were re-writing the Animation and New Media foundation degrees with a view to getting them validated by University of Salford. Well, last week, wearing my best bib’n’tucker and even clean shaven in deference to the occasion, I attended the validation meeting with some top bods from the University of Salford and I’m pleased to say that [subject to a few minor tweaks to the paperwork] they’ve agreed to validate the new course.... [ Read More ]
Bundle Of Joy [Reprise] 17 Apr 2013
I’ve written in a previous post about macHeist and their software bundles, so I won’t bore you with all the background info again. If you’re interested, read the previous post Suffice to say that the current nanoBundle 3, available for a [yankee] tenner might be of interest to some of you stop-frame animator types, as it includes iStopMotion [usually $50]. Also of interest in said bundle are xScope [which is a handy tool for creators of in-screen graphics] and Path Finder [which is like Apple’s Finder, with most of the annoying crapness removed].... [ Read More ]
IOS Prototyping Prerequisites 15 Mar 2013
For the delight and delectation of those who attended Part 01 of my sessions on iOS Prototyping yesterday –part two at the same time next week!– here is a summary of the bits’n’bobs you’ll need set up, if you want to ‘try this at home’. Adobe Fireworks As this is part of the Creative Suite, you should have this already –provided you’ve stolen bought the rest of suite. TAP This is the application framework and builder that allows you to dump a Dreamweaver Library exported from Fireworks into it and turn it into a clickable swipeable app prototype.... [ Read More ]
Oscars Schmoscars 27 Feb 2013
Fresh from suffering a twat-ful of overpaid Hollywood superstars crying into their onion-filled hankies at the weekend, the world of showbiz was again rocked to its very foundations yesterday, as the who’s who [or should that be who?… who?..] of animation gathered in The Manchester College’s infamous Room 222 for the inaugural Golden Doll Awards. From the outset, controversy was in the air, as plucky South African cheerleader Zack Esterhuizen led a people’s revolt, clamouring for the awards to be renamed the stíobharts, in honour of the world’s greatest living half-wit.... [ Read More ]
Not Mud-Plugging 22 Feb 2013
Yesterday, I dragged the first years screaming and kicking off the computers and nailed their chairs to the floor around the gadget free break-out tables in the middle of the room. Said tables I then piled high with packets of air-drying clay, tubs of PVA adhesive, armature wire, chicken wire and ModRoc and told them it was time they started making something, instead of spending yet another day helping demolish the EU Pritt Stick mountain by gluing “research” into their sketchbooks.... [ Read More ]
Character Design For Brands 13 Feb 2013
Here’s an article from Computer Arts about designing characters to represent brands. Might be of interest to you first years, in light of your current brief... [ Read More ]
Lesson Ideas: Mad Men 10 Feb 2013
For want of anything more interesting to waffle about, I thought I might write up, every now and then, some of the lesson ideas which come to me under the influence of opium pipes and pints of industrial drain cleaner –and which I then inflict upon my long-suffering students. Today, I present Mad Men. Named after the US series which my missus watches and which, from what I can see through an occasional glance over her shoulder, seems to be a show about chain smoking –the Mad Men lesson is an exercise in Creative Thinking under pressure.... [ Read More ]
Shameless Pluggage. 02 Jan 2013
[ Scientific research has shown that successfully completing the scroodl challenge makes you stronger, taller and more sexually attractive. It also increases your chances of finding a big suitcase full of cash or drugs, just lying in a back alleyway by up to 43%! So, what are you waiting for? –Just head over to http://scroodl.tumblr.com/ask and fill in the contact form, with your name and email address and I’ll add you to this year’s starting line-up.... [ Read More ]
Creating An Apple Keyboard Mapping For Debian 01 Jan 2013
old Apple keyboard Old macs never die…. at least in my house where, when they get a bit too long in the tooth to handle the latest versions of OSX, I usually install Debian linux on them [often sans GUI], as that’s what I run on my webservers, so it’s nice to have a Debian box or three lying round the house, so I can practice my l33t *nix skills, without breaking the internet.... [ Read More ]
Scroodl Post-Mortem 29 Dec 2012
Tonight I am smugly basking in the afterglow of my completion of the scroodl challenge. This time a [leap] year ago, disgusted with my terminal indolence when it came to actually producing artwork and presumably under the influence of what remained of my Christmas booze stash, I resolved that I would make a slightly premature New Year Resolution. I vowed to do some drawing every day for a whole year. As if that was not idiotic enough, I decided that the best way to ensure I stuck to this pledge was by making it public.... [ Read More ]
Stumpy McDunce Writes... 11 Dec 2012
Every now and then I come across an artist’s website which makes me want to burn all my drawing implements, cut both my hands off and fashion for myself the biggest dunce cap in the world, from all my remaining sketchbook paper –all the while whilst kicking my arse to Putney bridge and back, for being the lazy, feckless twonk that I am. Here is one such site, that I came across, only t’other day.... [ Read More ]
Pinterest —it'S Not Just For Shoes! 20 Oct 2012
](http://pinterest.com) Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll have heard of Pinterest, latest ‘flavour of the month’ in the unending avalanche of new social networking sites hoping to cash in on the success of FacePuke et al. Basically, it’s a site that allows you to gather together collections of images and videos from around the intarwebs and ‘pin’ them onto ‘pinboards’ for future reference.... [ Read More ]
Bundle Of Joy? 20 Oct 2012
](http://macheist.com) Well folks, it’s that time of year again when the good folks at MacHeist start their annual bombardment of my in-tray with news of this year’s ‘bundle’. For those of you unfamiliar with MacHeist, it’s pretty much a bulk purchase scheme, whereby the kind of people who like paying for software [I’ve heard such creatures exist!] can buy a ‘bundle’ of mac apps for a ridiculously low price. MacHeist has been on the go for years.... [ Read More ]
Heffalump Overload 10 Oct 2012
Yesterday I introduced my animation students to the ‘wunnerful world’ of Edweard Muybridge and asked them to do some tracings from some of his photo-sets, with a view to eventually photographing them on the rostrum and making them animate. Given the nature of the technique and the fact that the Muybridge material is so old, I have coined the following term to describe this form of animation: Retro-scoping Do you see what I did there?!... [ Read More ]
I Wanna Destroy! 02 Oct 2012
We did the Destroy Project today with our first years, which basically involves taking photo portraits of yourself and “destroying” them in artistically creative ways [idea shamelessly lifted from the photographer Rankin]. As ever, whenever possible I like to play too, so here are the three efforts I managed to produce, in between running the entire college, practically single-handedly. The astute viewer will notice the depth of the artist’s vision as, with scalpel-like precision he shines the light of enquiry into the darkest recesses of contemporary society, exposing to the glare of self-appraisal the morés and foibles of the twin worlds of fashion and commerce.... [ Read More ]
A Final Scroodl Roundup 22 Sep 2012
Given that I have a terminal inability to draw hands [or feet], I thought it was about time I bit the bullet and actually tried to scribble a few paws, for my scroodl challenge. Yes, even I can be haunted by the disembodied voice of Alex, in my head, telling me to get out of my comfort zone! So, here are a few attempts I’ve made recently. Not great but, given that I am the undisputed ‘King of Crap Hands’, I’m relatively pleased with them.... [ Read More ]
Scroodl Roundup The Ireland Collection 22 Sep 2012
Some more scroodls. These ones are from August, when I was back in Ireland for a bit.... [ Read More ]
YA Scroodl Roundup –Part One 22 Sep 2012
As is my wont, I’ve been neglecting this blog again, over the summer. I was going to post a roundup of all the doodles I’d done since the last update in my scroodl challenge [trying to upload a doodle a day for an entire year], on which I’ve now got under 100 days to go. But I’ve left it for far too long and reposting all the crap in a mighty roundup would take longer than the life-expectancy of the known universe.... [ Read More ]
The Biggest Scroodl Roundup In All Of Christendom 18 Jul 2012
”..Bleedin ‘eck, Guv’nor –you’ve sure neglected to do this for a luvvaduck long while, an’ no bleedin’ mistake!…” OK, my lovelies. Fasten your seatbelts and sit back. Here goes the first part of what will likely turn out to be a bit of an avalanche of scroodl-catching-up. This covers the period from 8th - 17th May. Remember to keep your dangling appendages inside the carriage, at all times. ——— The mighty scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
App Store Chore 04 Jul 2012
Ever since I was a young man… er… well, for about the past two or three years anyway, I’ve wanted to teach myself the mystical arts of iOS programming. That is, programming for the iPhone and iPad. If, in more civilised times, it was thought that everyone ‘had a book inside them’, then surely the equivalent de nous jours is to believe that everyone has an app inside them. I know I do.... [ Read More ]
In Praise Of Markdown 12 May 2012
I hate word-processors. They are the spawn of the devil, for anyone of an artistic temperament. Ugly, bloated and stinking of corporate dullness, they sit there, sucking the very creativity out of you. Every time someone sends me a Word document, a bit more of my soul withers and dies. And it’s just as bad when I have to write up some kind of formal document myself. Even though I’ve eschewed Microsoft and its evil bug-ridden virus-infested software for years, I still feel the bile rise in my throat when I fire up the equally ugly-stick-beaten freebie alternative, NeoOffice, on my mac.... [ Read More ]
Getting Stuff Into And Out Of Your IOS Devices 12 May 2012
Being an Apple ‘fanboi’ of long standing [I got my first mac way back in ’93] I love my shiny iPhone and iPad. But one bugbear I have with these gadgets is the way that Apple makes it so difficult to get stuff on and off them, without either using only Apple apps, like the execrable iTunes or using clumsy workarounds such as emailing files back and forward as attachments. So here are a few goodies I’ve discovered, over the years, which will help make this process a bit easier.... [ Read More ]
Another Hefty Scroodl Roundup –Part 02 11 May 2012
Here’s the next batch in ‘Operation scroodl Catchup. This lot takes us from 24th April to 07th May. Now the smart boys and girls amongst you will have noticed that there are less scroodls here than there are days between those two dates. “What has happened?…” I hear you cry, with your stupid faces twisted in confusion “Has our hero and role model failed in his challenge of doing a doodle every day for a year?” Well, dear hearts, you can put that notion right out of your heads!... [ Read More ]
Another Hefty Scroodl Roundup –Part 01 11 May 2012
I’ve been neglecting my increasingly froth-lipped scroodl repostings of late and I have so many accumulated in the reserve stash that, when I tried to upload them all at once, all smoke started coming out of Tumblr and a man shouted “Hey, you! Stop that, or you’ll break the internet!” Anyway, here’s the first batch. these were originally posted on scroodl between 14th and 23rd April. As ever, top British secret agent Colonel Wanderbury features quite prominently, fighting his ongoing valiant rearguard action against the despicable Baron von Brücken-Stempfl and his invading hordes of Nazi triffids.... [ Read More ]
Review: Starsky And Hutch 06 May 2012
Seeing as it’s a proven scientific fact that all popular culture created after the mid 1990s is complete shite, I’ve resorted to downloading complete TV series of classic television from ‘the good old days’ off the internet, to give me something to gawp at while shovelling my dinner into my gob, of an evening. At the moment, I’m working my way through all four seasons of the 1970s cop show, Starsky & Hutch and I thought I’d share the delights of this old classic with those of you, amongst my vast readership, who are unaware of this televisual delight.... [ Read More ]
Not Your Usual Weekly Scroodl Round-Up 13 Apr 2012
As I’ve been enjoying a well-deserved week off work for Easter, I’ve been able to devote a bit more time, than the usual half-arsed effort at the end of the day, to my daily scroodls this week. So, I did a mini set, still featuring my fuckwitted creations, Wanderbury & co. but paying homage to iconic movie posters. See how many of them you can get. ——- PS. I’m still looking for new blood to sign up for the scroodl challenge: It’s simples.... [ Read More ]
No.100 –One Hundred, Not Out! 08 Apr 2012
My one hundredth scroodl. Go me! Having donned his best driving bra and taken a firm grip on his joystick, Colonel Wanderbury is looking forward to an exciting evening’s racing, when he discovers to his horror, that the rampaging triffids have completely smashed his Scalextric! [With apologies to B-movie fans, everywhere!]... [ Read More ]
Fourteenth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 07 Apr 2012
You know the score, by now! ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Huddersfield Tapestry 03 Apr 2012
For the past two days I’ve been in Huddersfield at the Subject Specialist Conference, which is part of my PGCE/Cert. Ed. Given that the entire course up to now has consisted entirely of essay writing and spreadsheet sucking, I was expecting the conference to be similarly creativity-sapping. So imagine my delight when, on arrival, we were all given long strips of paper and invited to make some kind of ‘artistic reflection’ during our two days there.... [ Read More ]
Mini Review: The Last Station 31 Mar 2012
One of the websites I frequent is currently holding a poll to find the “Worst Film Ever”. I added my tuppence worth to the debate and then realised that, with a bit of cynical recycling, I could rehash my post there as a review here . So here it is. Apropos of abso-bloody-lutely nothing, save the fact I’ve not actually written anything for a while, just been re-posting my scroodls: If you measure awfulness in sheer tedium, as opposed to irritation, then you couldn’t do much worse than “ The Last Station”: Christopher Plummer [as Leon Tolstoy] spends almost the entire film, lying in bed, waiting to die… with a beard.... [ Read More ]
Thirteenth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 31 Mar 2012
McYadda, McYadda ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Twelfth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 27 Mar 2012
Blunderbuss and Bacon-Slicer again… or whatever they’re called ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Eleventh Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 27 Mar 2012
Wanderbury and the Baron again. More exciting than finding a cornflake in your cornflakes! ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Tenth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 11 Mar 2012
I’ll not even bother introducing this week’s offerings. same old, same old. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Floor Plan 06 Mar 2012
More work done on the set for Project Innocence, this Monday. At the weekend, for the good of the team, I put myself through the soul-destroying hell that is a visit to B&Q. After being harangued by Alan bloody Titmarsh on loop tape in the garden department, searching in vain for the right sized wood and then futilely trying to find a price on the not-quite-right sized wood, which was all they had —I emerged broken but unbowed and loaded up my van with some timber and hardboard sheets.... [ Read More ]
Ninth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 03 Mar 2012
More Colonel Wanderbury and Baron von Brücken-Stempfl. Nothing to see here. move along, please! ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Eighth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 25 Feb 2012
Another week dominated by the adventures of Colonel Wanderbury and Baron von Brücken-Stempfl. Oh well. No point fighting it. Let’s just see where this goes. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
All The World'S A Stage 25 Feb 2012
As self-appointed “Person Who Stands at the Back, Pointing at Stuff” and general dogsbody for the Animation 2nd years stop-motion “Project Innocence” it fell to me to knock up lovingly hand-craft the stage, within which the ‘magic’ will take place. A few weeks back me and Stefan did a bit of setting up cameras, fiddling with tripods, measuring distances etc. in the dirty room at college and arrived at a set of dimensions which constituted the maximum field of view we were going to work within.... [ Read More ]
Seventh Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 19 Feb 2012
I’m afraid the Post-It note offerings have continued into a second week. [it’s just so much more convenient than dragging my sorry arse all the way over to the computer and setting up my Wacom tablet!] I also seem to have created a monster; namely Colonel Wanderbury and his arch-enemy Baron von Brücken-Stempfl, who seem to have taken over my scroodls, at the moment. Trouble is, having given spawned the two eejits, I havenae the heart to kill them off.... [ Read More ]
Sixth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 11 Feb 2012
This week, depending on how charitably disposed towards me you’re feeling, I’ve either been “pushing the boundaries of what constitutes an art medium”, or “being a lazy bugger”. However you want to dress it up, it means i’ve mainly been doing quick 10-20 minute doodles on Post-It Notes. Normal service will be resumed as soon as arse is once more in gear. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Fifth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 04 Feb 2012
Bit of a mixed bag this week, with a couple of pretty half-arsed ones slipping in under the radar, towards the end. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Fourth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 29 Jan 2012
Inspiration was at a bit of a low this week, hence the preponderance of cartoonish faces, which tends to be what I doodle, when I cannae think of anything else. Maybe, I’ll start picking a theme for certain weeks, to add a bit of variety into the mix. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Third Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 21 Jan 2012
Third week’s worth of scroodls. Woot! –under the “fifty weeks to go” milestone now.... [ Read More ]
Exciting News! 18 Jan 2012
██ ████ all ██ ████ is ████ ██ ████ ██ well ██████ ██ ██████ love ██ ████ your ██ ████ ██ government ████ ██... [ Read More ]
Second Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 14 Jan 2012
Second week’s worth of scroodls [and they said he’d never keep it up!] Forward we go into week three, scribbling away like a good ‘un!... [ Read More ]
The Mighty Scroodl Challenge 11 Jan 2012
The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called! I started mine on 31st December, so 6th January marked my first ‘week’. Here are my first seven Scroodls.... [ Read More ]
Review Reviewed 11 Jan 2012
I’ve just stumbled upon this, through the randomness that is retweeting and I love it! It’s an entertaining read and it combines a review of the film with personal anecdotes and hand-drawn artwork. What’s not to like? Possibly something to ponder for you lot out there with reviews to write for your PDPs. “Think outside of the box”, and all thon! War Horse –an illustrated review.... [ Read More ]
Have You Made Your 250 Contributions To World Culture Today? 07 Jan 2012
squid-vicious: Tumblr Post limit: Okay so it’s 250. I guess that’s like a lot of posts in one day. But as someone who used to spend like a whole day on Tumblr because I had nothing else to do and posted 300+ posts (not every day, on rare occasions), I have posted more than 250 posts in one day many times. So… I stumbled across this post, whilst trying to search the Tumblr API for a way to limit members of a shared blog to a certain number of posts per day.... [ Read More ]
Remembrance Of Posts Past 01 Jan 2012
I’ve been racking my brain for a week or two now, trying to remember the name, web address [anything!] of a site I came across a while back, whereby you sign up with them as an illustrator and [subject to being accepted] you get to illustrate eBooks for iPad, from a selection they sell on iTunes. I thought it might be of interest to Vanessa in particular, but also to some of the rest of you, who enjoy a bit of illustration, on the sly.... [ Read More ]
Meet Scroodl 31 Dec 2011
Howdy boys and girls. At that depressing post-Christmas time of year, when you look at your haggard hungover face and turkey & mince pie-bloated carcass in the bathroom mirror and realise that you’ve spent the entire Christmas break stuffing your face and poisoning your liver and done “absolutely-no-work-at-all©” it’s nice to set yourself some aspirational New Year’s Resolutions. And what could be more assuaging of your festive guilt than to pledge yourself fervently to some unattainable goal which, deep down, you know you’ll give up on, halfway through January and return to your self-loathing indolent ways?... [ Read More ]
Calendar-Iffic 27 Nov 2011
How do you like my saucy new mini-calendars, showing the post-dates on my blog entries? Pretty nifty, eh? – and the cool thing is that it’s all done with good ol’ CSS. No image files were hurt in the making of this website. If you fancy having a go, here’s what you need to do: 1: First, add the following code into your theme’s custom HTML. If you don’t know how to edit your theme’s custom HTML, you probably shouldnae be doing this anyway but, if you like living on the edge, refer to my previous post for instructions on how to access the HTML editing screen.... [ Read More ]
Less Pain - More Gain 27 Nov 2011
Trying to edit your Tumblr theme’s HTML was annoying enough previously but, since the latest update to the interface, it’s even more of a pain in the arse than ever. Now you have to have two tabs open and make at least three clicks back and forth between the “CUSTOMISE” section and their annoying HTML editing screen, every time you want to make the slightest change. Here’s a way in which you can set things up, so you can edit your theme’s CSS locally and then have the changes automagically applied to your Tumblr blog: Assumptions: You’re using a custom theme.... [ Read More ]
Stop-Frame Genius In Action 18 Nov 2011
I saw this video a month or two back and forgot to book mark it and had absolutely no luck since in finding it because: A: I couldnae remember who it was about B: I couldnae remember the name of the film. Thanks to a casual comment by Rob [AKA “Big Tough Gully”] in one of his posts yesterday, I finally remembered that it was A: Barry Purves B: Tchaikovsky Really clever on two levels; Firstly, you get to see the master, Barry Purves in action and secondly, it’s a stop-frame within a time lapse, which is judged just right to give the effect that the stop-frame model is moving at normal speed.... [ Read More ]
Charlie And The Pickelhaube Of Doom 13 Nov 2011
After they got fed up with me hanging about looking dejected, because I wasnae allowed to play with plasticene too, my 2nd year Animation students took pity on me and said they’d allow me to design one of the characters for our forthcoming ”Project Innocence” stop-frame animation. Presumably because they’ve already seen the state of my drawing and modelling skills, I was given the job of designing and building Charlie, brother of the main protagonist, who spends most of his brief appearance in the film clad in an old army greatcoat and German Pickelhaube helmet [war relics, belonging to his granda], so that not much of him is visible, apart from his chin.... [ Read More ]
Cert. Ed. –ifiable 13 Nov 2011
At the last session of my terminally tedious Cert. Ed. course [which I’m being forced to complete, to prove I’m qualified to do the job I’ve been doing for the past eleven years], I was actually given carte blanche to do some doodling in an official capacity –instead of using it as a means to attempt to preserve my sanity, while the lesson drags by, as is usually the case. We were split into groups of four and charged with producing some “visuals” which explained how ‘something so boring I’d rather eat my own dung than think about it’ differed from ‘something else so boring I’d rather eat my own dung than think about it’.... [ Read More ]
Project Innocence 13 Nov 2011
Since I’m looking forward, in the next few weeks, to bollocking those of my students who’ve not bothered to post anything to their PDP blogs, since the current term began, I thought I’d better get my arse in gear myself, lest some barrack-room lawyer pipe up with a, “Please stop hitting me with that length of two-by-four dear tutor for, in our indolence, we were only emulating your good self!” So, here come a couple of posts from the “Leading by Example” school of lecturing: Project Innocence, is the working title we’ve given to a stop-frame animation film, which I’ll be making during the course of this academic year with a select band of my 2nd year animation students.... [ Read More ]
Clean Slate 02 Aug 2011
Well, I hope all you smart young NMD and Anim students have been listening to the repeated advice from your Uncle stío and Auntie Alex, to back up and keep copies of all your work. Because, last week, while we were on holiday some fuc.. twa.. ars.. clever person from IT decided to completely wipe every computer in room 222 –without even consulting with us first. So, anything not backed... [ Read More ]
The Great Sketchbook Project Rip-Off 23 Jul 2011
I’m feeling pretty pissed off this morning. After writing previously [on a couple of occasions] about The Sketchbook Project and my mixed feelings about it, postie has just delivered my sketchbook for this year’s outing –and I’ve got to say that $25 for the tiny, sorry looking sub-school exercise book quality “sketchbook”, which tumbled out of the envelope, is a fucking joke. I had some correspondence by email last year, with the organisers of The Sketchbook Project, with regards to their describing 2011’s sketchbooks as Moleskines, when they were patently nothing but cheap knock-off copies.... [ Read More ]
Digitisation Across The Nation 08 Jul 2011
As I’ve mentioned previously, I participated in The Sketchbook Project last year and, in true student fashion, failed miserably to complete mine in the allotted time –although, in my defence, I did only hear about the project about a month or so before the deadline. Anyway, at the time I entered the project, I stumped up the extra twenty greenbacks to have my sketchbook digitised. As the months zipped past from last year’s submission date, I alternated between forgetting all about it and thinking I’d been ripped off, when visits to the project website eternally promised that ‘digitisation of submissions’ was under way, without providing much in the way of evidence for this.... [ Read More ]
A Dilemma 25 Jun 2011
Now, here’s a dilemma for me… What do I do with the “following” list on the mancol.tumblr.com blog, now that all the students on there will be leaving us, to go off to pastures new? Obviously I’ll need to clear the decks, for the new intake, or it’ll all get very messy, with a mixture of current and ex-students. But it’d be nice to still somehow be able track the progress of those of you who are leaving us this year and see how you’re all getting on in the big bad world.... [ Read More ]
Mad Hallucinatory Experience 09 Jun 2011
Logging into my Dashboard today, I notice that changes are afoot in Tumblrland. I’m not sure if I like it. You tend to get stuck in your ways, once you hit your mid seventies and I feel a bit disorientated by all this crazy new-fangledness. Hopefully I’ll wake up in a minute to find it’s all a dream and I’ve just dozed off listening to The Archers again.... [ Read More ]
You Couldnae Make It Up! 29 May 2011
”…Containing everything you need to help and encourage any of your students having difficulties with their reading & writing…” Pity they dinnae “eat their own dogfood”, it would seem, for inside: Oh the irony!... [ Read More ]
Fanatic Fantastic 29 May 2011
The great thing about the intarwebs is that, whatever the subject area, you’ll find it has a dedicated following. These guys are so fanatical about their VWs that they’ve set up a forum to discuss everything about VW. T’would be a churlish man indeed who would point out that it’s spelt “volkswagen” and not “volkswagon” —especially when they’ve made that nice banner and registered the http://www.volkswagondeals.co.uk domain name and everything.... [ Read More ]
Lordy! Lordy! 21 May 2011
Given that I’ve been comparing Richard’s developing graphical style to that of Rod Lord [of original “Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” graphics fame] and that Rich has posted a couple of Rod Lord animations himself, I thought I’d share with you this excerpt from the great man’s website, wherein Rod tells the tale of how they put together a demo sequence of the H2G2TG [as the nerds call it!] “Babel Fish” sequence to win the ‘gig’ from the suits at the BBC.... [ Read More ]
Google Maps Typography 18 May 2011
This is pretty cool. Aussie artist Rhett Dashwood spent about six months, poring over Google Maps, to compile this landscape alphabet. Some ‘letters’ work better than others, and I reckon it would work better with more instantly recogniseable landmarks. But nonetheless, another one of those really simple ideas to file under “Why didn’t I think of that?” Link-o-tron [with the locations of each ‘letter’]... [ Read More ]
Mac Vs. Pc Infographic 08 May 2011
Mashable have posted this infographic. Based on data gathered by Hunch.com from user profiles of visitors to their site, it confirms that all your preconceptions and stereotypes about Mac users vs. PC users are true. Click here to see the full version.... [ Read More ]
A Pictorical Paints A Thousand Words 06 May 2011
This is a really nice idea. In essence: Pictorical are a publishing house, who sell ebooks for iPad. You apply to register with them as an artist and –provided they like your illustration style– they sign you up and you choose from their list of available books and illustrate it. When it’s done, they sell it as an eBook and you [as the artist] get half the profits. Applications are closed at the moment, but it might be one to keep an eye on for the future.... [ Read More ]
None Of The Above 04 May 2011
It’s all very well having a sham referendum on whether or not to change the voting system. But, at the end of the day, the government will still win every time. “The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them.... [ Read More ]
Fuckwitts' Corner No.217 28 Apr 2011
Dear Tumblr What, in the name of Beelzebubb and all his legions, is the point of providing an HTML editing button for posts, if you strip out any custom code we write, anyway? 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9:... [ Read More ]
If At First You Dinnae Succeed... 28 Apr 2011
For about three days in a row over this [alleged!] holiday, I’ve been wrestling with my webserver, trying to configure it so I could use embedded Ruby in my webpages. Something I’ve been meaning to do, ever since I switched from using Apache to Nginx for my server, a while back. The consensus of web-wisdom suggested that the easiest way to do this was the allegedly “plug’n’play” Phusion Passenger. So I spent about two-and-four-fifths of those three days, configuring, reconfiguring, uploading, downloading, installing, uninstalling Ruby, Nginx, Passenger and various other doohickeys and doodads and must have tried every configuration option out there, with absolutely no result; whatever I did, Nginx, Passenger and Ruby steadfastly refused to even look at each other.... [ Read More ]
Busman'S Holiday 26 Apr 2011
Even though i’m supposed to be on holiday for the next week, I cannae resist tinkering on the intarwebs. So today i’ve given my Tumblr blog a bit of a make-over: Before: After: Widened the layout. There was s-o-o-o much wasted space in the old one. I think it was about 700px wide altogether. My new one is 1000px wide. Changed styling of post title, footer bars and sidebar headings to make them look a bit more ‘labelly’, which is kinda the look I’m going for.... [ Read More ]
Stupid Oul' Bags 26 Apr 2011
I found this advert on the Moleskine website. If you ignore the fact that the bags themselves are [as they used to say round our way] ‘pure mingin’, it’s quite a nice wee piece of stop-frame animation. Not entirely original though. I can see shades of Evelien Lohbeck in there.... [ Read More ]
Apple Knows Where You'Ve Been! 25 Apr 2011
Lots of scandal in the technology press this past week about the discovery by Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden [a couple of computer security researchers] that our beloved iPhones are keeping tabs on us wherever we go, storing this information in a hidden file called consolidated.db on the phone and also backing it up to your computer, whenever you sync your phone with iTunes. Apparently it is mentioned in the terms and conditions you sign up to, when you buy an iPhone that: Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device.... [ Read More ]
Backups Revisited 22 Apr 2011
A week or so ago, I posted about a couple of recommended options for backing up your Mac. One of the options I mentioned was using Amazon S3 storage, in conjunction with a ‘front-end’ application to configure the backup options on your Mac. At the time, I recommended Arq, as my preferred application for the purpose, as I was currently trying it out, after many years of using [but not particularly liking] JungleDisc and, on first impressions, thought Arq was the better app.... [ Read More ]
Every One'S A Loser 21 Apr 2011
I like to think I’m a pretty broad-minded individual. But, for the sake of humanity, some things just shouldnae be allowed: I hate the use of “IT” as an umbrella term to cover anything remotely connected with using a computer I positively loathe the use of the meaningless buzzword “Solutions”, so prevalent in business at the moment I find the use of underscores instead of spaces really irritating and ‘Windozey’ And I’d bring back the death penalty for annoying twats who say “K” instead of ‘thousand’.... [ Read More ]
Postmammal 15 Apr 2011
Here’s a sample of some nice Illustrator artwork I just happened across from a guy called Robert Murdock, who works under the pseudonym of Postmammal. It’s a programme for a wedding, which takes the form of an Infographic style brochure providing an “A to z Guide to the History of Your Bride and Groom” Me likey! Good original concept. Hands up who would have come up with the idea of an Infographics pamphlet, if asked to produce a programme for a wedding?... [ Read More ]
PWYW 15 Apr 2011
Loathe tho’ I am to encourage idle frippery and the pursuit of happiness by my students, whilst they are anywhere near a computer –I thought some of you might be interested in this: The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle It’s a bundle of four games [supposedly all Mac, Linux and Windows compatible], being offered on a “Pay What you Want” basis. I dinnae bother with games myself. I much prefer to spend my idle time doing paperwork, but there ya go.... [ Read More ]
Backups 10 Apr 2011
Last Thursday, NMD & Animation students & staff went for a pint or six after college. Being the nerdy geeks we are, the subject of backing up your computer came up in conversation and I said I’d write something about it on the blog. So here it is: First off, if you’re not backing up your work, you’re an eejit. With so much of our lives stored in digital format these days, it’s madness to not have it backed up somewhere in case you fry your hard drive or have your computer stolen.... [ Read More ]
Vimeo Showreel 23 Mar 2011
Just to let you all know; the URL for the NMD/Animation pages on Vimeo has been changed. It’s now: http://www.vimeo.com/mancol and the showreel itself is at: http://www.vimeo.com/mancol/videos [And yes, I will be starting to upload some of this year’s work soon!]... [ Read More ]
The Art Of The Title Sequence 20 Mar 2011
[{{% figure src=“http://www.artofthetitle.com “art of the title”) Pity I didnae stumble across this one a few weeks back, when you were all working on your Title Sequence briefs, but still worth adding to your bookmarks anyway. I love the quote on the about page, which is spot on, coz it’s true: Remember when your heart sank just a little when you realised the Pink Panther movie wasn’t a cartoon? http://www.artofthetitle.com... [ Read More ]
Bedtime Stories 19 Mar 2011
[Amazon linky] This is a pretty good book, if you want to do a bit of reading up on Infographics, ready for the next brief: As ever, I’ve absolutely no idea where you might find a snidey PDF copy [If there was a disc image containing this book at the above link –which, of course there isn’t!– I’d guess the password to open it would be the same as the... [ Read More ]
When Life Imitates Art [College] 19 Mar 2011
I think I may need a rest from Isometric/Isographic Perspective. After having spent the tail end of last week introducing its joys to to my students, I’m starting to see the damned stuff everywhere! Case in point. My latest phone bill: Check out the pattern inside the envelope: Aarrgggh!... [ Read More ]
Happy St. Pat'S Day 17 Mar 2011
[Shamelessly recycled from last year!]... [ Read More ]
Career Opportunities 16 Mar 2011
Anyone fancy a design job working for a small unheard of startup company? According to Behance, there’s one going here... [ Read More ]
Competition 09 Mar 2011
A bit short notice –the deadline is 14th March– but there’s a competition on the TUC website at the mo’ to make a 60 second film [which presumably could be an animation or other moving image piece] on the theme of the current government cuts. £500 prize up for grabs and the winning entry to be played on a on the big screen at Hyde Park as part of the TUC rally March for the Alternative on the 26th March 2011.... [ Read More ]
Street Sketchbook 05 Mar 2011
I thought this might be of interest to those of you who are interested in street art/grafitti. [Amazon linky ] I’ve heard rumours that somewhere around here, there might be a snidey link to download a scanned PDF of the book [255mb], But I would personally never involve myself in such underhand goings-on.... [ Read More ]
Unfortunate Brand Names, No:427 04 Mar 2011
Check out their website for the fromage-laden theme tune Barf!... [ Read More ]
Put A Shilling In The Meter, Tumblr! 04 Mar 2011
I’ve posted about it before and, no doubt I’ll do so again; I wish to feck Tumblr would bloody sort out their servers, so they’d actually make some token attempt at handling the traffic that the site attracts! It’s doing my head in! –and today is even worse than usual. I’m currently averaging about four attempts for each page, before I can get the damned things to load. What makes it even more annoying is that Tumblr seem to do bugger all to address this issue.... [ Read More ]
It'S Funny, Coz It'S True 02 Mar 2011
Interesting article on Mashable, looking at the current crop of design clichés in the world of website logos: Linky... [ Read More ]
Random Tip No.226: URL Shorteners 13 Feb 2011
PROBLEM: You want to send someone the link to a fabulously exciting webpage you’ve discovered. but the URL [or web address for the uninitiated] is far too long to remember… or perhaps you want to send it as a text message. Imagine for example you’ve just spotted an ideal outfit for the office christmas party on ebay and want to share it with a friend. Here’s a typical ebay link: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELVIS-JUMPSUIT-TURQUOISE-VINE-PROFFESIONAL-BELT-CAPE-/190498555796?pt=Adult_Fancy_Dress_UK&hash=item2c5a994794 Fancy trying to type that into a text message or tell it to someone and expect them to remember it?... [ Read More ]
Random Tip No.426: Twitterfeed 13 Feb 2011
Twitterfeed is a nice webservice that allows you to automatically send updates from various types of website [eg. blogs, forums etc] to a Twitter, Statusnet, Hellotxt [whatever them two are?] or Facebook account. So you can choose to have your Twitter account automatically update, whenever you add a new post to your Tumblr. I know Tumblr has a built-in option to do something like this, but Twitterfeed offers you a lot more control and is just as easy to set up.... [ Read More ]
Retro Heaven 12 Feb 2011
I’ve just come across this great blog, packed full of all kinds of retro design work, ranging from book & album covers to advertising, clothing catalogues and technology, etc. Retrospace I’ve always loved the style of book covers and magazine illustrations from the 40s-60s, especially Sci-Fi or trashy ‘adult’ stuff. I mean… _‘Nazi Fraulein Werewolves’_… what’s not to like?: …There are also some things [mostly dating from the 70s] that... [ Read More ]
RSI 06 Feb 2011
ie. ‘Repetitive Scanning Injury’. Well, a couple of months after signing up for Beyoncé Behance, I thought it was about time I got off my arse and actually stuck something on there. So, where better to start than the drawer full of old sketchbooks I’ve been meaning to sort out for so long? And, after nearly two days spent scanning, cropping adjusting and uploading, I’ve now got ten of said sketchbooks digitised and added to my Behance profile page: http://www.behance.net/madra Most of them are old college sketchbooks, dating back to when I was on the ND Audio-Visual Design and HND Multimedia courses at this ‘ere very establishment, way back in the early nineties, when The Manchester College was still _City College Manchester and the boy matulevicz was still firm of fetlock and luxuriant of hair.... [ Read More ]
Procrastinator'S Delight 05 Feb 2011
Whilst pondering the ever-increasing list of things I want to get done this weekend [ever-increasing because each weekend it is supplemented with the things on last weekend’s list, which I didnae get done], I came across the following website: Ta-da List Wherein you can create simple todo lists, fill them with things to do and then triumphantly tick them off as you achieve them: [BTW - Herman is my van, in case you were thinking I was planning to throw emulsion over an innocent member of the public] The nice thing about Ta-da List is that the site has been designed to play well on iPhone, so you can create, edit, view your todo lists on either your comp or your phone: Now –did ye know that, if you click on the the plus button [circled] at the bottom of any webpage on your iPhone, you can choose to add an icon for that page to your iPhone’s home screen [obviously it’s only worth doing this if the webpage in question has been designed to function as a webapp on the iPhone, which is the case here]: Hey Presto!... [ Read More ]
Fuckno! 05 Feb 2011
What is it with all the Tumblr blogs entitled “Fuckyeah <insert subject of blog>“, which seem to be abounding these days? Am I missing out on some really witty new internet ‘meme’ [or ‘Internet zzzzz’, as I call them], or is it just the latest manifestation of the lack of imagination of the cyber-population at large?... [ Read More ]
Is It Just Me...? 27 Jan 2011
…or is uploading photos broken on Tumblr today?... [ Read More ]
Sketchbook Yummyness 27 Jan 2011
The other day while researching into Print-on-Demand publishing sites, I came across this self-published sketchbook of the works of Norman J Schureman. Not someone I’ve ever heard of before, but I’m loving his scribbles: Linky poo EDIT: Wow! - I just googled ‘Norman J Schureman’ to see if any more of his artwork was available on the intarwebs and found this: Murder in Westlake stuns community It’s a crazy world out there, folks!... [ Read More ]
REVIEW: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen 26 Jan 2011
While I was working on my [to be honest, pretty risible] entry for the Sketchbook Project, over the Chrimbo holidays, I did a wee bit of doodling using a brush and Indian Ink. a technique I used to be quite into ‘back in the day’ when I was a callow youth at Art Collge, but which I hadnae used that often since. There’s something really satisfying about the physical craft of laying down lines of treacly black, lovely thick and gloopy Indian Ink, using a brush; controlling the thickness of the lines with tiny variations in pressure and then waiting for it to dry, leaving a slightly raised bead of lightproof, waterproof permanent black on the paper.... [ Read More ]
British Cartoon Archive 22 Jan 2011
This is a great site for anyone interested in the history of newspaper and magazine cartooning. The British Cartoon Archive is located in Canterbury at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library. It has a library, archive, and exhibition gallery, and is dedicated to the history of British cartooning over the last two hundred years. The BCA holds the artwork for more than 150,000 British editorial, socio-political, and pocket cartoons, supported by large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines.... [ Read More ]
Title Sequence Playlist 18 Jan 2011
Title Sequence playlist For those first years working on the Title Sequence project; here is a selection of the typography heavy Title Sequences we showed you at the beginning of the brief.... [ Read More ]
Lateral Thinking 14 Jan 2011
I spotted this ‘Be seen in the dark’ sticker on a bike outside college before. Nothing particularly interesting about it, on first appearance, but my curiosity was idly piqued by the choice of a Cheshire Cat, as opposed to any other cartoon animal or object. Then I remembered the characteristic of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland: ..when [Alice] noticed a curious appearance in the air: it puzzled her very much at first, but, after watching it a minute or two, she made it out to be a grin, and she said to herself `It’s the Cheshire Cat: now I shall have somebody to talk to’… In Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat tends to materialise out of thin air and it’s always his smile which appears first, before the rest of his body.... [ Read More ]
Come And Have A Go... 11 Jan 2011
..if you think you’re art enough! If you think you’ve got an eye for colour and graphic design, check out the Munsell Hue Test and see how you get on. I scored a whopping 99,4% – Go me!... [ Read More ]
Paging KPP!... Paging KPP!... 08 Jan 2011
###Interesting Looking Book: An Illustrated Life “ +++ I just stumbled across this at random on Amazon. Looks like the kind of reading material any sketchbook obsessed Scouser would love to have in their collection and, at not much over a measley tenner, they wouldnae even have to shoplift it! Linky An Illustrated Life offers a sneak peak into the wildly creative imaginations of top illustrators, designers and artists from around the world through the pages of their personal visual journals.... [ Read More ]
Busman'S Holiday 03 Jan 2011
Damn! - cannae believe it’s back to the day job again tomorrow, after my all-too-brief Christmas break. However, I’ve not been idle over the holidays. As I’ve alluded to before, I’ve been busy working on one of the websites I run; namely, the Appletalker Discussion Forum. I’ve switched the site from using the Unclassified Newsboard [UNB] forum software to using the Simple Machines Forum [SMF] forum software. For two reasons mainly; The developer of UNB has effectively abandoned the project in favour of working on UNB2, but has said there will be no upgrade path from UNB1 to UNB2 –which is complete madness– as it locks current users into using ‘abandonware’.... [ Read More ]
Tumblr Bollox Pollock 02 Jan 2011
I was hoping that Santa Claus might have brought the folks at Tumblr some new servers for Christmas. But apparently not, as I’m still getting that bloody annoying “…Over Capacity…” message almost every time I try to do something on the site. So in homage to the now legendary Twitter Fail Whale, I present the “Tumblr Servers are Bollox Pollock”... [ Read More ]
There Ought To Be An App For That 31 Dec 2010
... [ Read More ]
Nice Animation 29 Dec 2010
Quite a nice wee combo of stopmotion and computer graphics used in this German promo campaign for Google Streetview. And it’s good to see the perennial old “Living Sketchbook” idea still has legs! There’s also a page here with some info on how it was made.... [ Read More ]
Premature Felicitation 24 Dec 2010
Seeing as how I’ll be doing the rounds tomorrow; stuffing my face with booze and food, and unlikely to be going anywhere near the comp to upload this, you’ll have to accept my Christmas greetings a bit early. Have a good one everybody and, as Tiny Tim would say: “Gawd bless us, one and all!”... [ Read More ]
We Don’ Need To Show You Any Steenkin’ Bhajis! 24 Dec 2010
It’s good to find some classic movies occasionally, amongst the mountains of brain-dead dross on Blinkbox. Last night I unearthed one of my all-time favourite westerns “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. The only problem is that, for some unaccountable reason, every time I watch this film I find myself hankering after an Indian takeaway!... [ Read More ]
Button Loon 24 Dec 2010
I’ve been working on my forum website makeover for most of today again. Because I border on being OCD when it comes to how things look, I spent several hours designing a set of iPhone style buttons, just so I could replace a couple of minor buttons on the forum interface –as the built in ones were putrid Windoze style crappy gifs. I didnae design these from scratch, but based them on an iPad GUI template set very helpfully published by these folks.... [ Read More ]
Bracket Monkey 19 Dec 2010
Today I’ve been “doing my brackets_”, as the missus calls it; trying to port the immensely popular *cough!* Appletalker Forum I run from its current Unclassified Newsboard [UNB] software [which has been abandoned by the developer] over to a new forum software, called Simple Machines Forum [SMF], which should future-proof _Appletalker for at least the forseeable future and –even more importantly– allow me to build a forum theme which formats up nicely on smartphones.... [ Read More ]
Cheeky Chappies! 17 Dec 2010
Found on my whiteboard yesterday, when I went into college. After a bit of waterboarding and ‘robust interrogation techniques’, Robert and Karl confessed Karl confessed and dobbed in Robert too. Hmmm… methinks some grades might have to be adjusted downwards!... [ Read More ]
It'S Official - We Rock! 17 Dec 2010
It was nice to see so many students, both past and present out for our little soirée at Jabez Clegg last night and also nice [albeit quite blush inducing] to have so many of our former students come up to Alex, Griff and myself and tell us that –since they’ve moved onwards and upwards to 3rd years on degree courses at ‘proper’ universities– they’ve retrospectively begun to really appreciate just how good the teaching they’d received from us had been.... [ Read More ]
Chrimbo Quoffs 14 Dec 2010
Just to remind you all; Christmas drinkies will be in the Function Room –or whatever the Hell it’s called!– at Jabez Clegg on Thursday evening, from 7pm ‘til 1am. Tickets are a measley £2 and are available from all good tutors [and some rubbish ones]. Those students wishing to show their appreciation of the fabulous teaching they have received from me during the course of the year may do so by placing pints of Guinness in my sweaty paws, for the duration of the night.... [ Read More ]
Cum Shot 13 Dec 2010
And the award for “Most Risibly Unsubtle Attempt to Use Sex to Sell a Product” goes to…... [ Read More ]
While My Guitar Gently Weeps 12 Dec 2010
I notice that the bookies are offering odds of 17-to-one on a Beatles track being the Christmas Number One single. I might well have a flutter on that, so I might! When Apple first announced the arrival of The Beatles on iTunes I, like most other folks, said “So what? –’the kids’ today dinnae even know who The Beatles are and the people who know who The Beatles are already have all their music anyway!” But it seems we were all wrong and Apple have once again tapped into a goldmine that no-one else suspected even existed; Someone out there is buying Beatles tracks by the bucketload.... [ Read More ]
Product Placement 11 Dec 2010
Ice-Cold in Alex is on Dave TV at the mo’. One of my all-time top five favourite movies. As well as being a ‘cracking good yarn’ I think the movie [made in 1958] must be one of the earliest and best examples of product placement ever. In fact, back when this movie was made, I’m not sure that product placement -as a concept– would even have existed. Unfortunately, Dave TV have chosen to show the movie at completely the wrong time of year; this is a film best served on a hot sultry summer’s day, with an unopened bottle of cold beer waiting to hand.... [ Read More ]
Title Sequence Brief 10 Dec 2010
Just for reference purposes, here’s the playlist of the example Title Sequences we showed you, when introducing the Unit02 brief: Clickety-Poo [Whoops! - previous link was broken. This one should work. cheers Xiu Wei!]... [ Read More ]
Review: Blinkbox Freebies 27 Nov 2010
ASDA [and apparently the Co-Op too] have currently got some 4-packs of Grolsch, with a promotional code, which allows you to watch an online movie for free on Blinkbox.com –a site I was hitherto unaware of. Me and the missus grabbed a pack last weekend and availed of the promo code to watch Avatar and see what all the fuss was about [Answer: not much, unless you like your allegories dumbed down to primary school level so that the Americans can ‘get it’ –but that’s a review for another day!] Anyway, after the missus signed up for Blinkbox and ‘rented’ Avatar, using our Grolsch supplied promo code, Blinkbox suggested she invite a friend to join, whereupon said friend would receive £5 joining credit and she would get £1 referral credit for recommending them.... [ Read More ]
Check This Vid Out 17 Nov 2010
Check this vid out. Looks like the kind of thing an enterprising student might want to try. And I’m sure you could make one of those viewer thingies from a couple of pieces of clear plastic and a bit of glue and Cellotape:... [ Read More ]
Perchance Bēhance Will Enhance 17 Nov 2010
…Your prospects of finding work. I got quite excited this morning when I got an email which, on first glance, seemed to suggest that Beyoncé wanted me to join her. But when I re-read it, it turned out to be from a website called Bēhance, inviting me to create an online portfolio on their site. Living the sheltered existence I do, i’d never heard of Bēhance before today, but a quick look around the site suggests it’s kind of like LinkedIn for ‘24 Hour Arty’ people; You can put your portfolio online, pimp for work and connect with other like-minded individuals for fun evenings in, sitting round a roaring fire, talking about your favourite brand of oil pastels.... [ Read More ]
Bandwaggon Jumping 17 Nov 2010
Thanks to Karl tipping me the wink about this one via his blog post, I have also jumped upon The Sketchbook Project bandwaggon. Mine arrived yesterday, all the way from “Murka” - woohoo! After the inevitable ”$25 for this flimsy piece of crap!… and is it even a real Moleskine?” outburst, upon opening the envelope, I got down to the maths; forty pages in the sketchbook to fill –or eighty if you want to be insane and work both sides of the paper– and two months, almost to the day, until the 15 January deadline for posting it back.... [ Read More ]
Recession?... What Recession? 13 Nov 2010
While the rest of us are having to tighten our belts and cut down to half a bottle of meths and a small crack pipe a night, it’s comfortingly teethgrindingly annoying to know that there are still people in the world who can afford to spend nearly half a million quid on something that disnae actually exist. According to Yahoo News: …stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe… because its real estate prices will drive you insane.... [ Read More ]
Screen Capture On Steroids 12 Nov 2010
Check out this pretty cool screengrabbing app, that i’ve just stumbled across. It’s called Layers and what sets it apart from the eleventy billion other screengrab apps out there is that it captures your screen to a layered Photoshop file: Every window, every dialogue box is captured and placed on its own layer - even the ones that are hidden behind other windows. even things like hard drives on the desktop, menubar icons and the cursor get their own layers –all nicely named and organised: Alright, I’ll admit i’m a bit of a geek [although I prefer the term CyberPunk!] but this is the cleverest thing i’ve seen in a long time.... [ Read More ]
Interesting Vid 09 Nov 2010
Interesting vid from Cambridge University’s YouTube channel. Stephen Fry narrates a quick intro to the world of nanoscience. Fascinating subject and sprinkled throughout with some quite nice infographics.... [ Read More ]
Evil Blood-Suckers 07 Nov 2010
I’m reading Dracula again at the moment and this time I remembered to mark a quote I’ve been meaning to note down, every time I’ve read the book, previously. First off, as given on several legal advice websites, a description of the rights of bailiffs: The bailiff cannot enter your house by force, but they can legally enter your property through open windows or unlocked doors, so make sure all your doors and windows are locked or closed!... [ Read More ]
No Need To Rub It In! 07 Nov 2010
So, after upgrading my iPhone to iOS 4,1 a couple of weeks back, I finally got round to checking out the new Game Center [sic] thingy this morning. After setting up an account, I was presented with this summary: Wow! - cheers Apple. Way to sum up a guy’s lifelong contribution to humanity, there!... [ Read More ]
Re-V-Iew 06 Nov 2010
“People ought not to be afraid of their governments… Governments ought to be afraid of their people!” Last night, in honour of Guy Fawkes night I rewatched the excellent V for Vendetta again. For those of you who have yet to see the film, it is based on a graphic novel of the same name and is the story of… well, how to sum it up? think ‘Guy Fawkes meets 1984, by the makers of The Matrix’ and you’ll be on the right lines.... [ Read More ]
Mentioned In Despatches 04 Nov 2010
Just for the record; the apps I mentioned this morning in relation to noseying around existing websites: Firebug Plugin for Firefox, which allows you to inspect elements on a webpage and see what code controls their layout and appearance and also lets you make changes to the code and see the results actually on the page. Download Here SiteSucker This app allows you to download entire [static] websites, preserving their folder structure.... [ Read More ]
Here’s A Belated Hallowe’en One For You. 03 Nov 2010
Here’s a belated Hallowe’en one for you.... [ Read More ]
Multi-Author Blogger = Suckage 27 Oct 2010
Why!, O why!, O why!, O why! [etc. ad infinitum] are Blogger -and by extension Google- so utterly determined to make it impossible for contributors to a multi-author blog to separate out their own posts? As you all know –or at least that fraction of you all who are my second year students, I have been wrestling with the problem of how to extract our individual contributions from last year’s multi-author PDP, so that we can import them into Tumblr.... [ Read More ]
D&AD Awards 2011 22 Oct 2010
@ 2nd Years: The D&AD briefs have gone online today. You can access them Here Remember kids, we want one of these for the staffroom windowsill!... [ Read More ]
Comments 29 Sep 2009
Hi all. I have installed the Disqus comments system on the blog, so you should now be able to comment on each other’s posts, by clicking on the ‘comments’ text in the grey bar at the bottom of each post. I say ‘should’ because I’ve had mixed experiences with Disqus before, on sites I’ve installed it on. Sometimes it works fine. Sometimes it makes me want to throw the computer through the f**king window.... [ Read More ]
I Do It My Way - A Blogger Workflow 02 Jul 2009
[NOTE: This article has been somewhat ‘Overtaken by Events’ - the latest version of Blogger has actually fixed a lot of the long-standing bugs and annoyances mentioned below. That said, I still tend to compose most of my more longwinded posts using the methods here. I’ve just never really taken to composing directly ‘in-browser’] Here is a quick outline of the procedure I use when preparing an article for a blog hosted on Blogger, of which there are several to which I contribute my words of infinite wisdom.... [ Read More ]
Memory, Man! 10 May 2009
Being the retarded thicko I am, I can never remember the correct order that the four ‘sides’ come in, when writing CSS shorthand. For example, instead of writing: .whatever { padding-top: 10px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 2px; padding-left: 0px; } The smart cookie CSS coder, does it with the following shorthand: .whatever { padding: 10px 5px 2px 0px; } My terminal inability to remember the order for the shorthand version is annoying enough when writing my own code, as I have to write the CSS out in full each time, but even more irritating when customising existing CSS code, coz I have to tweak each value in turn and then reload the page to see which was the ‘top’, which was the ‘left’ etc.... [ Read More ]
REVIEW: Red Dwarf Special 04 Apr 2009
My complete, considered, unabridged and in-depth review of Dave channel’s one-off Red Dwarf Special - ‘The Return to Earth’, shown last night on the aforementioned channel: “Oh Dear!” Has anyone else managed to stop cringeing yet?... [ Read More ]
Cheesy Goodness 03 Jan 2009
Today has been a great day for comedy shopping. Not only did I discover the ultimate in Infidel-Crushing timepieces but also while doing a quick nip round Asda - I came across this magnificent product, which apparently sells like hotcakes to lonely widows and heavily moustacheod gentlemen in suspiciously tight leather trousers. I’ve heard there’s a Kosher version as well, but apparently there’s not nearly as much meat in it. Two posts in one day - and both of hitherto undreamt of literary and visual excellence.... [ Read More ]
They'Ve Made You A Moron 06 Oct 2008
Former ‘Coolest Man on the Planet’ John Lydon’s descent into ‘Z-lebrity’ twattishness sinks to new depths, as he ‘stars’ in this cringe-making advert for Country Life butter, currently airing on British television. Perhaps it wouldnae be quite so excruciatingly embarrassing if the increasingly hypocritical cunt didnae keep turning up every five minutes on documentaries about Punk Rock - slagging off everyone else in the known universe, including most of the people who helped him get where he was in the first place, and trying to make out that he was the only one who ever meant it and never sold out.... [ Read More ]
US Election Coverage 29 Aug 2008
One of the unfortunate consequences of living in the Fifty-first State of America is that we have to suffer the ball-grinding tedium that goes along with -not one but two!- general election campaigns. As well as watching the snivelling antics of our own bunch of cretins, we also have to suffer prolonged and in-depth coverage of the motherland’s election. If a US presidential wannabe farts. Britain needs to be told the flavour!... [ Read More ]
Installing ERuby On Mac OSX Leopard 02 Apr 2008
I’ve seen several guides to installing eRuby on OSX - none of which I could get to work for Leopard. But after much trial and error, I’ve managed to get eRuby up and running on Leopard, using a special mix’n’match blend, culled from various bits of other tutorials on the web. So here is my guide to installing eRuby on OSX Leopard. As I say, this worked for me, when other guides didnae, but I’m not guaranteeing anything.... [ Read More ]
Adding A Social Bookmarking Toolbar To Your Posts 26 Mar 2008
[Shamelessly recycled from my post on the appletalker scrapbook] Here’s a quick tutorial on how to add a nice toolbar [with icons!] to the bottom of each of your Blogger posts, that will allow your avid readership to post your drivel to the following social bookmarking sites; Digg, Reddit, del.icio.us and Technorati. I’ve also incorporated Blogger’s built-in ‘Add Comment’ link into the toolbar, to keep everything neat and organised. First of all, grab yourself some icons for the social bookmarking sites you want to provide links to.... [ Read More ]
'Political Correctness' - Meet 'Barrel-Scraping' 21 Mar 2008
It takes a special kind of fuckwitt to come up with a programme idea which combines elements of unoriginality, political-correctness and Americanisation in such a haddock-stinking way that I truly thought this was an early April Fool’s joke, when I stumbled upon it on the BBC’s website. For what you are looking at here, dear reader, is none other than Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, given a 21st Century makeover, for a new cartoon series on the Disney Channel.... [ Read More ]
Question Marks 21 Mar 2008
Laying into the advertising industry is a bit like kicking a dead man with two sets of knackers - not much of a challenge and plenty to aim for. But, what the Hell. It’s the Easter holidays and I’m entitled to take things easy. So today, children let’s contemplate one of the three or four ideas which are currently afoot and endlessly re-hashed in advert-land, the ‘Question as Slogan’: You know the ones I mean?... [ Read More ]
Random Photoshop Tip - Straightening Wonky Horizontals [Or Verticals] 07 Dec 2007
We’ve all got photographs were the horizontals or verticals aren’t quite perpendicular. You can try to avoid this problem by not taking photographs while drunk but it’s much more fun to use Photoshop to fix things up later. This tip also works for teetotallers who just cannae get their perpendiculars perpendicular either. 1. First find an afflicted image. Here’s one I’ve deliberately ‘wonkified’ to an exaggerated degree. If your horizons are consistently sloping this much, maybe try a lower strength beer.... [ Read More ]
Using 'Categories' With Blogger 07 Dec 2007
Last week one of the students, who had previously used Wordpress, asked me if Blogger ‘did categories’ because [s]he wanted to file their posts under categories reflecting which college project they referred to. “No” I replied, with the robust confidence of someone talking out of his nether regions *“Blogger disnae support categories. The best you can do is organise posts by date”. Well, even a towering intellect like myself can occasionally get things wrong and, after further tinkering I have discovered that, whilst Blogger disnae support categories per se, there is a way to make it behave as if it does by taking advantage of the fact that Blogger does support attaching keywords to a post [or LABELS in Blogger parlance] and does allow you to add some custom menus to your template layout [providing you’re using one of the modern templates].... [ Read More ]
Set Up Tracking For Your Blog 04 Dec 2007
In ten… Oh, alright then eleven simple steps. One of the lesser known goodies that you gain access to, when you sign up for a Google account is Google Analytics - a service which lets you track visitors to your blog and view lots of interesting geeky detail about them, such as where in the world they surfed in from, what browser they used and the ego-bruising bottom line; ‘How many people are actually reading this crap?’ Anyway, for you stat-junkies out there, heres how to add Google Analytics to your blog: 1.... [ Read More ]
More On PDPs 04 Dec 2007
As part of their coursework, students at our college are required to keep a PDP [Personal Development Plan] - a studio diary in which they chart their progression through the course by way of discussing works in progress, referencing other works which influence them and - as part of the critical studies element of the course - writing a couple of reviews. In the past, this PDP has always had to be presented in physical form which, as you can imagine, gives rise to numerous opportunities for the perennial student excuses such as “The dog ate my PDP….”, “Our house got robbed at the weekend and they took the DVD player, the computer and my PDP…”, “I left my PDP on the bus…” and the like – quite apart from the logistics involved in collecting and assessing well over a hundred such volumes.... [ Read More ]
First Tweakage 03 Dec 2007
Inveterate tinkerer that I am, I wasnae able to leave the default template alone for long. Although it’s the cleanest looking of the templates available, there were a few things about it which bugged me, so I made some initial adjustments. No doubt I’ll be returning to tinker at a later date. For now I’ve: Moved the sidebar to the left - where it should be [IMHO] Widened the whole layout.... [ Read More ]
The Traditionally Tedious First Post 03 Dec 2007
In my capacity as most popular lecturer in the Design & Visual Arts Department of City College Manchester, I am often asked to share my encyclopaedic knowledge with hordes of saucer-eyed students, who gaze at me in admiration and hang on my every syllable. This past two weeks I have been talking the students through the process of setting up blogs and showing them the mechanics of adding photos, slideshows & video – generally availing of the various tentacles of the Google global empire; Blogger, Picasa and YouTube.... [ Read More ]
Dedicated Fuckwitts Of Fashion 22 Oct 2007
My contempt for that large percentage of the female population who would go out wearing a sack of dogshit tied round their waist if some skull-faced bitch in Cosmopolitan told them to - and would then ponce round looking down their snotty noses at anyone ‘uncool’ enough not to be similarly attired - knows almost no bounds. Every year there’s some new ‘must have’ look which legions of vacuum-headed girls dutifully adopt because they’ve been told they have to.... [ Read More ]
Mastermind Sketch 16 Oct 2007
MASTERMIND SKETCH Interior. the familiar black chair, spotlit from above. A sweet-looking [if slightly bewildered] old biddy is sitting in the chair clutching her handbag defensively in front of her chest and smiling innocently at the quizmaster. The Mastermind theme tune could be fading out in the background. QUIZMASTER Your name please BIDDYEdith Bramble QUIZMASTER And your spe…. EDITH [interrupting him] I’m ninety-seven, you know! QUIZMASTER Very good. And your specialist subject is?... [ Read More ]
Sex Therapists TV Show Sketch 16 Oct 2007
THE SEX THERAPISTS TV SHOW Interior. A TV studio. Our viewpoint should be as if we are watching the show on television. A middle-aged couple stand behind a desk or podium. Behind them on the wall [or emblazoned across the front of the desk/podium] is the show’s title: “THE LOVE DOCTORS”. The couple are stereotypically American; fake orange tans, huge fluorescent white teeth and too much jewellery. The man is fat and the woman has that anorexic look with a scrawny leathery neck like a tortoise […Mutton Dressed as Lamb, in other words].... [ Read More ]
Wimbledon Sketch 16 Oct 2007
THE WIMBLEDON COMMENTATOR The commentator is of the ‘Old School’ - an old fuddy-duddy type with a public school accent. Think Dan Maskell. COMMENTATOR: And so as Jock McTavish prepares to serve in this deciding game, the hopes of British tennis rest squarely on his young shoulders… He bounces the ball… once… twice… He serves… [pause …Thwack noise - roaring from the crowd] COMMENTATOR: [Shouts - excited] ACE! It’s an ace!... [ Read More ]
Bog Trotting 02 Sep 2007
Apropos of nothing - save the fact I’ll be stayin’ over at a mates house in a few days - a question which has long puzzled me: “why do the English never have locks on their toilet doors?” I’m just going though a mental list of friends, acquaintances, in-laws and other ‘Persons Known to Me’ - as the police would have it - in whose houses, over the years, I’ve spent the night.... [ Read More ]
The Tao Of Tattoos 01 Sep 2007
Back in the good old days, it was mostly life’s misfits; the Rockers, the Bikers, the Punks and old Teddy Boys and ex-servicemen who sported a proliferation of tattoos. Nowadays however, it seems you’d be making more of a statement and cocking more of a snook at the world if you chose not to ‘get ink done’. So in that bitter and twisted mood that comes upon me when I see normal society encroaching on what used to be weirdo territory, I present my ‘Tao of Tattoos’.... [ Read More ]
Blue Peter 30 Aug 2007
Amongst the usual wheelbarrow loads of spam I’ve been getting in my intray over the past week or three, there’s been several dozen with a subject line consisting of some variation on the theme “My boyfriends’ <insert slang name for willy> is so big… yadda… yadda…”. I don’t actually know what the rest of the line is, as it gets cut off by the edge of my email app window and - needless to say - I just delete spam without looking at it, but one thing I did find mildly amusing: where the <slang name for willy> *appears in the subject line, I’ve seen all the usual suspects used; ‘Penis’, ‘Cock’, ‘Wang’, ‘Pecker’, and so on.... [ Read More ]
Your Mother Should Know 28 Aug 2007
OK - Here’s an interesting theory for you based - needless to say - on purely fictitious set of circumstances and [libel lawyers please note] not on anything currently in the news: Imagine a couple on a foreign holiday with their small children. The parents, being a pair of fuckwitts, decide to go out for a meal one night, leaving their three year old daughter and even younger son alone in their holiday apartment.... [ Read More ]
The One That Didnae Get Away 03 Aug 2007
You know them big cylinders of meat you see in your local Kebab Shop - sweating profusely as they slowly turn on their spit? I bet like me, you thought they were Elephant’s Legs. We’ll, it turns out we were mistaken. As this package label I found in my local Asda reveals, the kebab is in fact a magnificent sea creature. Now where can I catch me one?... [ Read More ]
Sounds Like A Load Of Wank To Me! 02 Aug 2007
Today’s award for the “Most Unfortunate Combination of Function Logo and Acronym” goes to the Thailand Open-source Software Festival –or ‘TOSSFEST’ as it is more casually known. Just look at that Open Source goodness, spurting forth from the mighty Jap’s Eye of software innovation!... [ Read More ]
The Planet Needs No Saving 06 Jul 2007
I really wish people would stop wanking on about “Saving the Planet”. You can barely turn on the telly or radio, or read an advert these days without stumbling across some multinational Earth-raping company trying to convince you they’re all a bunch of lentil sucking hippies, or having to listen to some tedious ‘popstar’ banging on about the environment, before dumping a few more tons of carbon into the air as they jet off to their next global photo opportunity.... [ Read More ]
No Claims Penalty 09 Jun 2007
I had to renew the car insurance the other day and, in spite of not having made any claims [for the ninth year in a row] I noticed my insurers had put the premium up by £17 on last year’s. My previous insurers used to do this as well: Every year they’d send me a renewal quote which was higher than the previous year’s - in spite of my having made no claims.... [ Read More ]
Environmentally Feindlich 22 Mar 2007
I’m glad to see that The Government is finally doing its bit for the environment by using yesterday’s budget to add a few pence onto the price of a litre of diesel and also by raising the Road Tax on 4x4s to £400 a year! I fully realise that using my beat-up fourteen year old Isuzu Trooper a couple of times a week to nip to the supermarket or pick the missus up from work makes me an environmental terrorist of the worst kind and deserving to be financially punished, whereas all those Business Executives and Government Ministers with as many cars on the driveway as there are people in the family and who spend more time in the fucking air than I do on the road, are really lentil sucking hippies and tree huggers of the first order.... [ Read More ]
Goody News Is No News 20 Jan 2007
Anger and outrage swept the globe this week and left the United Kingdom and India teetering on the brink of Total Nuclear Armageddon, when it was learned that one “Moronic Zzzelebrity who Would Eat Their Own Shit With a Knife and Fork if They Thought it Would Get Them on Television” had kind of… sort of… obliquely offended another “Moronic Zzzelebrity who Would Eat Their Own Shit With a Knife and Fork if They Thought it Would Get Them on Television” -the incident apparently occurring on a television show so moronically insulting to the intelligence that it is guaranteed to be a ratings smash with the fuckwitted, brain-dead drones who make up the overwhelming majority of the British public, Meanwhile and [according to most of the news programmes I watched] much, much less importantly -in Baghdad, another hundred or so people were blown to pieces in the continuing fallout from the crusade to bring freedom, democracy and reality TV to the Iraquis.... [ Read More ]
The Louder You Shout, The Less I Hear! 04 Jan 2007
The other night, when I was watching some drivel on the box, the ads came on and a minor irritation occured when I automatically reached down for the remote control to hit the “Mute” button and found it wasnae where I usually leave it. It occurred to me that for months now I’ve been instinctively muting the TV as soon as any channel I’m watching goes into a commercial break. You see, the thing is that, not only are adverts an intrusive annoyance at the best of times but, as Any Fule Kno’ the most irritating thing is that the adverts are that much LOUDER than the programmes they interrupt.... [ Read More ]
Playing With The Wrapping Paper 19 Dec 2006
The past few years have seen a veritable explosion in televisual technology; the clunky VHS tape has given way to DVD and the old Cathode Ray Tube is on its way out, making way for wardrobe sized Flat Panel Displays and HDTV. And yet, with all these great leaps forward in the delivery and storage of our media, what in the way of actual content are these devices being used to display?... [ Read More ]
Revenge Of The Clipart People 10 Oct 2006
Jeesuz h. Motherfuck! - I’ve railed long and hard in the past about the mindfuckingly irritating habit megacorporations have of sticking some vacant clipart bimboon their marketing material [Usually bundled in an envelope with a letter telling you they’re going to sue the pants off you for the handful of sheckels you owe them], but never in the history of Politically Correct Clipart-Sucking Loonery have I been greeted with as monstrous a sight as this hugely grinning apparition, which greeted me when I attempted to access my account details on Virgin Mobile’s site this morning.... [ Read More ]
Nothing Much Happened Today 10 Oct 2006
Noticing the large gap between my previous post and the one before that, I suddenly remembered the diaries I used to regularly receive from Santa as a kid. They were as much a fixture of the Christmas present list as those other stalwarts, the Dandy Annual and the Cadbury’s Selection Pack, shaped like a big sock made of net. Every Christmas I’d get one of those diaries and determine to write in it every day.... [ Read More ]
Welcome To My World 28 Aug 2006
It was interesting to read a couple of recent stories; one about two men being escorted from an aeroplane after other passengers overheard them speaking in Arabic and another similar story about a family queueing for a ride on the London Eye being taken aside and put through extra security checks, again for being overheard speaking in Arabic. Anyone of a remotely “Alternative” appearance, who’s had to deal with Customs and Security officials over the years preceding the current climate of Islamophobia must be silently sniggering to themselves these days and thinking “Welcome to My World!” It disnae make the whole experience any the less teeth-grindingly irritating, but at least the fact that crassness, stupidity and ignorance seem to be the pre-requisites for a job in Airport or Border Security, seems finally to be becoming public knowledge.... [ Read More ]
Let'S Paint The Town... Er... 04 Aug 2006
Phew! -Had to be careful I didnae infringe any copyrights there! Like most households in the UK I wasnae surprised to receive this leaflet earlier in the week, wherein Royal Mail dress up their latest price increases as some kind of “modernisation” of the mail handling system. What I did find somewhat more startling tho’ was when I saw that, according to the small print on the back of the leaflet, the Royal Mail have apparently registered “The Colour Red” as a trademark.... [ Read More ]
Caveat Emptor 04 Aug 2006
As the kind of guy who’s never able to resist the temptation to walk past a skip, without having a wee hoke round in it, on the off-chance of finding something that “Might Come in Handy”, I’ve long been a bit of an eBay addict; The joy of making a few quid by flogging off a load of oul’ shite you’ve got lying round the house is matched only by the equal pleasure of putting in a last second snipe and snatching a piece of someone else’s bric-a-brac right out from under another bidder’s stupid nose!... [ Read More ]
Ad-Annoyeds 18 Jul 2006
The first in an occasional series, whereby we take a piss-poor advert for some nondescript product, which for no apparent reason features some vacant bimbo looking like she’s in the middle of a multiple orgasm - and draw a big hairy cock on it, in best prepubescent schoolboy fashion! Is it wit? - Is it satire? - Is it biting social commentary? Possibly not - but it’s what was going through the mind of that creativity-vacuum known as the “Advertising Executive” when he thought up this risible attempt to make you subconsciously associate “Thrusting a hot sweaty RAM card into your computer’s eagerly awaiting slot” with …er… whatever it is people do with Girls of the Opposite Gender.... [ Read More ]
You Get Under My Skin 14 Jul 2006
I DO find it irritating! I thought I was well used to cunt-stick advertising executives shamelessly ripping off every classic scene in every classic movie ever made and I thought I’d steeled myself against the never-ending cheapening of classic Rock’n’Roll songs by their unwelcome association with some tawdry consumer product or other, but I never thought I’d witness the unadulterated Sacrilege I saw on the box the other day! Vodafone are only using my all-time favourite Punkrock classic tune - “Another Girl Another Planet” - by The Only Ones to try and flog their stinking mobile phone network.... [ Read More ]
One Law For The Rich 12 Jul 2006
Interesting to note various politicians, the judiciary and the Right Wing Press running about like blue-arsed flies over the past couple of days, frantically twisting and turning and trying to find a legal loophole which will let them block the extradition to America of the three men involved in the Enron scandal. This feverish activity has been in stark contrast to the deafening silence from the same quarters, regarding the other ‘Extradition to America’ case that’s been in the news over the past couple of weeks.... [ Read More ]
I'M In The Money! 20 May 2006
Woohoo! - Well, after all these years of being down on my luck it seems like things have finally taken a change for the better. Last week I received an email notification that I’d won “Forty Million” odd Euros on the “Dutch National Lottery” [In spite of not even having bought a ticket!]. Then earlier this week I received another email telling me that I’d only gone and won the famous “El Gordo” Spanish lottery as well!... [ Read More ]
Spam Revisited 20 May 2006
Earlier this morning I heard an enthusiastic knocking at the door. “Who is it?” I shouted, rubbing my engorged nostrils eagerly, in anticipation of an exciting visitor. “It’s someone you know” came the cheery reply. “Really?” I shouted cleverly “I don’t recognise the voice. Where are you from?” “It’s someone from work” The voice reassured me. So I bestrode my hallway like a Collossus, went to the front door and opened it -to be confronted by a complete stranger, wearing a shiny elbowed suit and an unconvincing pair of plastic specs with plastic nose and moustache attached..... [ Read More ]
O Cruel Morpheus! 05 May 2006
Well, I must say it came as a bit of a shock to get a sudden phonecall, out of the blue from Howie - the guitarist in my former band Nobody’s Heroes last night. But I took it all in my stride, like you do in these circumstances. Though I had difficulty hearing exactly what he was saying, due to a car alarm sounding continuously in the background, I made out enough to gather that a big record company in America were so impressed with our demo, that they wanted to fly us out to the US immediately to cut an album!... [ Read More ]
The Only Thing You Done Was Yesterday 03 May 2006
Ah! -the stench of xenophobia in the air! There must be another football tournament featuring England and Germany, on the horizon. Time to start digging through the history books again! Channel Five set the ball rolling [Geddit?!] and lived up to their usual sub-tabloid standards with their trailers for the “England v. Germany” episode of the Pitched Battles football history series last week, by cutting the trailers so that a clip of the pre-war German team flourishing Nazi salutes was immediately followed by a grinning England team holding aloft the World Cup.... [ Read More ]
You'Ve Gotta Laugh, Haven'T You? 03 May 2006
As anyone with a blog will know, one of the more amusing things you have to deal with are the constant attempts [by means of fake comments] of fuckwitted spammers to pollute your artistic genius with their semi-literate hawking of various tawdry “organ-enhancement” lotions and potions, or online card games. In the past, these “Spamments” [I just coined that phrase - amn’t I witty?] consisted purely of dozens of links to whatever crap the spammers were peddling and were correspondingly easy to spot and delete.... [ Read More ]
The Most Pointless Tickbox Of All Time 25 Apr 2006
Why do eBay even bother to have that “Keep Me Signed In…” tickbox on the login screen for their website? It doesn’t work. It never has worked and -although I keep ticking it every time I login, just on the off-chance they’ve finally fixed the damned thing- it probably never will work! Seeing as I have to spend so much of my time on eBay, hanging around the login screen, I think they should at least make that area of the site a bit more hospitable and ambient.... [ Read More ]
Play It Loud, Mutha-Flippa! 24 Apr 2006
On Sunday avvy, while idly flicking through the telly channels in the vague hope of finding something remotely watchable, I happened upon the promising sounding “Kerrang Top 100 Greatest Rock Videos of all Time”. The phrase “All-Time” in this case, as with all these type of programmes, seemingly encompassing the music industry’s output from as far back in time as the previous fortnight. As I watched the programme, presented by that drummer out of the Stereophonics and two delightfully intellectually stunted vacuous bimbos [who I am reliably informed are tabloid topless models], it didnae take too long for me to realise something was rotten in the state of Anarchy.... [ Read More ]
Put TCP On Their Beaks! 08 Apr 2006
Have you ever in your life heard the like of the bollox that’s going on in the press about Bird Flu? I actually thought the media-led furore had died down again, after the hacks moved on to warning us that the whole country was about to become desiccated, because it hadnae rained in the Home Counties for more than a week. But now bird flu is back on the front pages with a vengeance thanks to “Mc Swan” who’s bitten the dust somewhere in scotland.... [ Read More ]
Blow For George Bush 31 Mar 2006
... [ Read More ]
Yeller Bellies 22 Mar 2006
Woohoo! - found out tonight that Mazza and me had both passed our second Tai Kwondo grading [held on Sunday] and are now the proud possessors of yellow belts. This was in spite of my cocking up Chon Ji the first time and having to do it again –D’oh! I have a great excuse tho’… Whenever we’ve practiced it in the Dojang or when I’ve run through it at home, it’s always been in a room with windows along one side - and I/we’ve always started the pattern [and thus ended it] facing the windows.... [ Read More ]
How Can I Ever Thank You? 02 Mar 2006
I’ve just been on the Government’s website, paying the tax disc for the car; £170 for the privilege of another 12 months sitting in traffic jams and having my motor rattled to bits by pot-holes. How thrilling it was to see that the web page where the process of paying the fucker begins is entitled not “Pay for your Tax Disc” * but *“Apply for a tax Disc” –as if it’s something you really want to do anyway and which the Government might allow, if you ask nicely.... [ Read More ]
Smoke Crack For Allah! 16 Feb 2006
So it [turns out Omar Khayam, the poster boy for the fanatical Moslems protesting in London against the Danish Allah cartoons at the weekend, is in fact a convicted crack and heroin dealer, who was released on licence from prison last year, halfway through a six year jail sentence. Presumably Mr. Khayam was suitably outraged at this degenerate act of liberal Western decadence by the prison parole board and rued the fact he hadn’t been convicted of his crimes in a country with a justice system founded on the strict Islamic principles he was advocating at the weekend.... [ Read More ]
Sign Off 16 Feb 2006
What the hell where the sandal-wearing PC correct brigade at ITV thinking of, when they came up with the ludicrous idea of sticking “signers” on some of their late night movies? Now, I’m as much in favour of equal access rights for the disabled as the next guy, but why do I have to suffer what looks like a small Gnome with St. Vitus Dance threshing about in the corner of the screen while I’m trying to watch a movie.... [ Read More ]
Chicken Shit 06 Feb 2006
Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Chicken Licken is one of the fugliest cartoon creations yet? He looks like the bastard offspring of some illicit liaison between Timmy Mallet and Orville the Duck!... [ Read More ]
Never Play Star Trek Wi' Yer Mammy! 10 Jan 2006
One day, many, many moons ago when we were wee, me and my brother R—— were playing an exciting game of star Tek. Unconsciously echoing the nano-budgets of the TV programme itself, the drama was being played out through the medium of handwritten coded notes which -passed back and forward under the dining room door- represented communication between the orbiting Enterprise and the doughty explorers on some alien planet’s surface. In a frenzy of excitement the recipient of the note would decode it to learn that either ‘Bones’ or Kirk down on the planet [AKA “R—— in the Dining Room”] had found a mysterious tunnel, or that Spock or Scotty back on board the ship [Yours Truly in the Living Room] where having trouble with the ship’s engines.... [ Read More ]
This Year I Will... 03 Jan 2006
Do MORE “Good” stuff Do LESS “Bad” stuff I find it doesn’t do to get too tied down with detail and definitions!... [ Read More ]
Let'S Parler Bilge 02 Jan 2006
For as long as I can remember [about as far back as last Wednesday], I’ve had a strange -one might almost say “manic”- compulsion to mess around with words; change their pronunciation, meaning etc. and generally fuck about wi’ the language so much that I end up having a large swathe of vocabulary or pet phrases that are only intelligible to myself and whichever unfortunates have to bear my company for any extended period of time.... [ Read More ]
Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time! 24 Dec 2005
To certain persons at City College Manchester who, for the sake of keeping my job, must sadly remain nameless - a heartfelt Christmas greeting: As I sit here with [literally!] £1,32 to my name in the bank, debating whether to settle for a single brussels sprout for Christmas dinner, or attempt to catch one of the mice I can hear scampering about in the attic and roast it over a roaring candle, I’d like to thank you for all you’ve done for me over the past couple of months, to make this such a special Christmas… I’d like to thank you for still not having paid me the hundred odd quid my wages were short in September.... [ Read More ]
Belt Up! [Geddit?] 15 Dec 2005
Woo Hoo! –Yesterday I found out that I’d passed my first Tae Kwondo grading and thus earned a saucy yellow stripe for my weedy white belt, and the designation “9th Kup”. Although the cynical side of me reckons that you’d pretty much have to run up and shit full in the examiner’s face to fail your first grading [After all, they dinnae want to discourage you, just as you’re starting out], I’m still quite chuffed.... [ Read More ]
Best Poem Ever [Geddit?] 04 Dec 2005
Further to yesterday’s post about George Best’s funeral and noting Callum Best’s emotional reading of the Newtownabbey Advertiser standard poem sent in to him by a member of the public, I am minded to pay my own tribute in verse form. From the distant cobweb bedecked corners of my brain, comes the memory of a rhyme which did the rounds for a few months while I was a snotty-nosed pupil at Mossley Primary School back in the 1970s.... [ Read More ]
So Farewell Then, Georgie Best 03 Dec 2005
I was fully prepared to be cynical when I saw you were being given what amounted to a state funeral back home in Belfast. Those being usually the preserve of deceased political and religious leaders, not someone who was merely quite good at kicking a leather ball around a field. OK. So you made us proud that our pathetic fucked up wee country could produce someone universally recognised as the greatest footballer in the world, but you let us down time and time again and embarrassed us over and over with your drunken antics.... [ Read More ]
Did Yoffy'S Fingers Bob In Vain? 23 Sep 2005
“Yoffy lifts a finger and a tortoise head peeps out.” sang the theme music to Fingerbobs Isn’t it an absolute disgrace, as well as a sad indictment of the modern world, to think that the so-called “Children’s Entertainers” of today are far too busy snorting cocaine off each other’s nether-regions to follow Yoffy’s pioneering example? In fact, to the best of my knowledge, not one of these preening, pouting poppinjays of today has ever, even slightly, elevated one of their own digits, in order to see just what [if anything] pops out!... [ Read More ]
Shut The Fuck Up - Will You?! 03 Sep 2005
GROWL!!! ROAR!!! GROWL!!! ROAR!!! That was the sound of the mighty Leopard, slipping through the jungle like a wraith, in silent pursuit of his prey. SQUEAK!!! SQUEAK!!! SQUEAK!!! That was the sound of a rat, sneaking through the dark and musty corner of your cellar in search of a discarded crust. Yes folks! - it’s another busy day in the life of one of my favourite “Get Paid to Cock Things Up” professions: The TV and movie soundman.... [ Read More ]
Let'S Hear It For 'Noisy Space'! 07 Aug 2005
Have you ever noticed how in every Science Fiction film ever made, every laser gun blast, every rocket engine firing, every explosion which happens in the vacuum of outer space is always acoustically adorned with the best ‘Zaps’, ‘Roars’ and ‘Booms’ the sound effects department can produce? Why, for fuck’s sake?! The clue is in the phrase “Vacuum of Space”. We all learned in first-year Physics that sound disnae travel in a vacuum, so why this ridiculous aural accompaniment?... [ Read More ]
Good Doggie! 02 Aug 2005
So Tony Blair has finally reaped his reward for being a good little poodle and following his master into Iraq, has he? Oh! - did I say “Tony Blair has reaped his reward…?” Silly me! The beloved leader and his cronies are, thankfully, well-protected by the state’s finest. No. I’m afraid it was Joe [and Joanna] Public who kopped for the inevitable. But then, we knew that was the way it was going to be, didn’t we?... [ Read More ]
The Great Reconstituted Potato Snack Sexuality Test 02 Aug 2005
For many moons now, I’ve been working on a revolutionary new theory which states that it should be possible to deduce a person’s real sexuality from their preferred flavour of potato crisps, or their hi-tech cousins - the reconstituted corn or maize snack. This quite independently of that person’s professed sexuality. I’ve noticed that when confronted with a choice of such titbits at the kind of swanky soireés I get invited to, most girls have a horrible predeliction for the disgustingly cheesy flavours, whilst the average red-blooded male will almost always opt for something a bit more piscine.... [ Read More ]
What'S My Bloody Problem? 04 Jul 2005
Am I the only one becoming teeth-grindingly irritated by the constant [and meaningless] overuse of the word “Solution” in regard to all things corporate and industrial nowadays? This ‘disease’ is doubtless common throughout the business world, but I especially notice its sweaty-palmed prevalence in the area I work; computers and the internet. Software companies no longer sell Applications; they produce “Business Solutions”. ISPs have given up renting webspace and instead offer “Hosting Solutions”.... [ Read More ]
Madra 'Unfunny' - Official! 30 Jun 2005
Well, yesterday I received an email from the BBC with the shortlist of 36 people who made it through to the final of the Last Laugh competition and my name was conspicuous by its absence. This means that I am officially a “Witless Drudge” with all the writing ability of a “Prepubescent Teenager who has been educated from birth via the medium of SMS text messages”. But you already knew that, didn’t you?... [ Read More ]
Political Cartoon No.0003 17 Jun 2005
In today’s searingly topical cartoon, I have tried to imagine Sir Bob Geldof’s reaction when he first heard that Live8 tickets were being sold on eBay. I apologise to those of a sensitive disposition for the strong language used. I felt it was necessary to capture the essence of the man.... [ Read More ]
Autistic Bloody Britain 16 Jun 2005
I once saw a documentary on telly about Autism. During it, two kids were shown a toy being hidden underneath one of two up-turned boxes. One of the kids was then led from the room and in his or her absence, the toy’s hiding place was swapped, so that it was under the other box. The kid who’d remained in the room and seen the switch was asked to indicate under which box he or she thought the other child would think the toy was.... [ Read More ]
English For Beginners 16 Jun 2005
Sometimes, whilst ploughing through the semi-literate prose which comprises [I’d guess] 99,9% of the content on the internet, I find myself wondering if anyone else on the planet can actually spell and understand basic English grammar? I’m not talking about the plankton-brained kids of today and their teeth-grindingly irritating ”…u no wot I want cuz u is gr8…” SMS inspired terminal illiteracy, but seemingly intelligent ‘Grown-Ups’ who, in the middle of an otherwise coherent paragraph, will suddenly drop in a ”… you know what your doing…” or an ”..I went to see there new house…“.... [ Read More ]
RIP Conor 09 Jun 2005
Hard to believe it’s two years today since I had to take my wee buddy Conor to get put down. I hope you’re having fun up there in the big kennel in the sky, wee man!... [ Read More ]
Whither Lembit Opik? 09 Jun 2005
Imagine my horror when I tuned into a ‘talking heads’ type programme on Radio 5 [AKA “Radio PC”] this morning to find that Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire, Lembit Opik, was not amongst the panel of guests, offering his Rent-an-opinion on anything from Asteroids to …er… Zoomorphism, in that ever-so-slightly camp sounding Norn Iron accent of his. You hear a lot on the news about shake-ups in the management of the major broadcasting organisations these days, so I fervently hope that some clipboard sucking loon somewhere hasn’t suddenly taken it upon himself to wonder, “What has this cunt actually done, apart from prattle on incessantly in the House of Commons about the dangers of meteors striking the earth -and bang Sian Lloyd, the TV weather girl- that we seemingly have to invite him onto absolutely every mediocre talking shop and discussion panel broadcast anywhere in the UK, like some latter day Germaine-fucking-Greer?” Oh - wait a minute!... [ Read More ]
Drowning In A Sea Of Widgets 06 Jun 2005
On the face of it, it must have seemed a great idea when the boffins at Apple thought up the idea of building The Dashboardinto Tiger [Mac OSX 10,4]. Now anyone with a smattering of Javascript and the ability to throw a bit of HTML and CSS together could design pretty looking ‘Widgets’ which could be called up [via the Dashboard] at the press of a button and give [almost!] instant access to various single-purpose functions.... [ Read More ]
I Hate Clipart People! 03 Jun 2005
This morning I had to go online to pay another wodge of my hard-earned cash to Powergen to cover my electricity bill. On the online payments page I was greeted with this inanely grinning tart. What the fuck is going on here? Why do these huge companies; energy suppliers, banks, local government - insist on sending us bills, threatening letters, final demands for payment and the like, embellished with these plastic-toothed, American-chinned, vacant looking clipart mannekins?... [ Read More ]
Why Can'T We Say 'Non' To This Frog? 31 May 2005
Can there be a rational human being out there who wouldn’t in the past have agreed that, in the interest of creating a better society for all of us, pretty much all Scallies and Chavs should be put down at birth and their bingo-clink wearing, tracksuit sporting, in-bred Neanderthal featured parents compulsorarily sterilised? I thought not - and this was probably your opinion even before that fucking annoying Frog Ringtone started to monopolise every commercial break on every TV and radio station in the land.... [ Read More ]
Put On Your Sunglasses. Someone'S Bleeding! 31 May 2005
Inspector Morse is on the the telly last night and I’ve got half an eye on it while doing some bilge on the computer. A Devil-worshipping ‘Baddy’ has kidnapped a woman and Morse and Lewis are in her house gazing solemnly upon her kitchen walls where the miscreant has daubed some Satanic runes. They also come across a note from the kidnapper, smeared on a sheet of paper. Both the runes on the wall and the writing on the note appear to have been written in flourescent red oil-paint.... [ Read More ]
Political Cartoon No. 002 31 May 2005
Today’s offering casts a wry look at the forthcoming Conservative Party Leadership Election:... [ Read More ]
Syrup Of The Week Award 31 May 2005
Newsnight have just been running an article on the current spate of referenda on the proposed EU constitution, taking place across member states. The Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende was featured, speaking in favour of a ‘Yes’ [or should that be ‘Ja’ ?] vote. If I was Dutch, he’d certainly get my vote. How could you fail to throw your support behind a man with such a fine luxuriant head of natural looking hair?... [ Read More ]
Political Cartoon No. 001 30 May 2005
This is the first in an occasional series of politically and socially motivated cartoons, wherein I shall be bringing my colossal intellect and rapier-like wit to bear upon contemporary issues. Here we see a damning indictment on the recent re-election of Tony Blair... [ Read More ]
'Yes' And 'Mister' Are The Hardest Words Of All 29 May 2005
Isn’t it funny how, no matter how fluently a ‘foreigner’ in a TV drama or a film speaks English, they never seem to master the words for “Yes” and “No” or “Mister” “Miss” and “Missus”? “Mais oui, Monsieur. The murderer was obviously expecting us to be taken in by the deceptive simplicity of his diabolically executed scheme” [Hercules Poirot]. “Sí Señor. I will tell the Señora that you wish to discuss the matter further at a mutually convenient time” [Any stereotyped sweaty, greasy, hand-wringing ‘Spic’ hotel manager in a Film Noir].... [ Read More ]
Why Do They Say 'Literally' When They Mean 'Figuratively'? 27 May 2005
This seems to be a disease endemic amongst the journalistic classes, but seems particularly prevalent amongst sports commentators. ”…He quite literally skinned the defender…” ”…the keeper literally performed miracles between the sticks…” ”…the whole town of Aintree quite literally comes to a standstill for this race…” ”…he’s literally been driving by the seat of his pants for the past two laps…” and so on and so forth. Such sloppy grammar. And coming from people who are presumably hired for some supposed ability to string two words together in a semi-coherent fashion, it has me quite figuratively tearing my hair out every time I hear it.... [ Read More ]
Baggsy No Mugs! 15 May 2005
This came up in a random “Trip down Memory Lane” conversation in the pub wi’ my wee sister and bro the other day. So in the interests of preserving the rules of this great sport for future generations, I present the comprehensive guide to Canteen Table Chess, as practiced at Ballyclare High School, during my incarceration there from 1976-1983: The Rules Meals are served from a central serving hatch. Each patiently waiting table is given the nod from the all powerful dinner-ladies on patrol, to join the queue to be served.... [ Read More ]
Spoiling Tactics 05 May 2005
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Don'T Give Up The Day Job 01 May 2005
Well, after a couple of weeks of writing, scrunching up, rewriting, revising, scrunching up, rewriting, un-rewriting, un-scrunching, editing, rewriting and going back to what was originally there in the first friggin’ place, I finally decided to stop tweaking and uploaded my entry for the BBC’s Last Laugh competition. I did an ending to “The old Guys”]. Now, I’ve just got to sit back for a couple o months and wait for fame and fortune to come a-knocking at the door and then I’ll never again have to waste precious minutes composing this tedious drivel [that no fucker ever reads anyway!].... [ Read More ]
Best Gadget Evarrr! 26 Apr 2005
The other day, the postie greeted me bleary-eyed on the doorstep with a package which turned out to be the new iTrip I’d ordered a couple of days earlier, to accompany my iPod. Although I’d read good reviews about the iTrip, I was expecting it to be at best a ‘Not Bad’ piece of technology -but I was in for a treat! For those folk not in the know, the iTrip is a small cylinder, about half as big again as an AA battery, which plugs into the headphone socket of your iPod [I’m assuming there isn’t anyone left on the planet who disnae know what one of those is!] and acts as a miniature FM broadcasting station.... [ Read More ]
None Of The Above 26 Apr 2005
Just got my Postal Ballot through the door this morning -not that I have any intention of voting in the General [or any other] Election. Barely had the ballot paper landed on the doormat, when it was followed shortly afterwards by an avalanche of leaflets from the various candidates. I don’t know why they even bother wasting the money printing this shite up [Although judging from the grotty, smudgy, sub church newsletter offerings from a few of the smaller parties, not everyone exactly broke the bank, publicising their pipedreams].... [ Read More ]
Who'S Next? 31 Mar 2005
So Christopher Ecclestone has quit after making one series of the new Doctor Who, saying he “Doesn’t want to be typecast”, has he? Hmmm… Could you not have considered that this might likely happen, if you took on the role of one of the most iconic figures on British telly, before you signed the contract? So, after all the long wait to see Doctor Who on the box again, after all the fanfare and the build-up, after all the “Rubber Chicken Circuit” interviews Ecclestone gave on every radio and TV station in the feckin’ country, over the past few weeks, saying how proud he was of this new series, he’s jacked it in after a handful of episodes.... [ Read More ]
New Who Review –Boo! 31 Mar 2005
Well, last night I sat down to watch the much-heralded rebirth of the formerly magnificent Doctor Who, with Christopher Ecclestone as The Doctor and Billie Piper as his travelling companion Rose. In spite of my instinctive dislike of the latter [I’m sorry, but you’ve got to feel some kind of contempt for anyone who’d marry a twat like Chris Evans! and because of my complete ignorance of [and therefore lack of prejudice against] the former, I determined to give the programme a ‘Fair Go’.... [ Read More ]
School Time Versus Real Time 23 Mar 2005
When I was at Ballyclare High School, way back in the ‘Black & White days’, the timing of the bell for the end of each lesson was always 2 or 3 minutes shy of the actual time. So for example, although lunch was at 12:30 and school finished at 15:45, the bells actually went at 12:28 and 15:43. This strange scenario lasted throughout my seven years at the school [And for all I know might still pertain today].... [ Read More ]
Jesus Is A Zero -Or A Negative Influence? 19 Mar 2005
Driving back from Leeds this morning I passed a church in Huddersfield which had one of those ‘Trendy Vicar’ advertising slogan type notices outside, designed to ‘get down with the kids’ and have the punters flooding in of a Sunday. I couldnae photograph the actual sign, due to negotiating a tricky junction at the time, but I have masterfully reproduced it here. Now on the face of it we seem to have the usual ‘Jesus is Love’ message, but zanily [and quite possibly ‘Bonkersly’] dressed up as a mathematical equation [These trendy vicars sure know how to target the youth market!] but let’s just doublecheck here and make sure the Skypilot’s sums add up: Life - Love = Zero OK.... [ Read More ]
Democracy -Dontcha Love It?! 13 Mar 2005
Nice to see all the main parties falling into line and voting for [albeit with a couple of insignificant amendments] The Government’s new Anti-Terror laws. These were brought in after the senile cunts in the House of Lords actually woke up long enough to realise that the previous policy of allowing anyone suspected of “Being a Johnny Foreigner” er… sorry, I mean of “Planning Terrorism” to be detained indefinitely without charge and without them or their solicitors being given access to the evidence against them was “not very British, Old Chap!” The new laws [and this time approved by tHe Lords -so it’s all jolly good and democratic!] will allow anyone suspected of being a terrorist to be placed under a “Control Order” which means, amongst other things you can be….... [ Read More ]
From Our Nostradamus Department 08 Jan 2005
Last night I dreamt that I was sitting by the touchline, waiting for this summer’s FA Cup Final to start and, as is customary with dreams, was having an endless cycle of frustration -in this case, trying to connect my laptop to my online bookies to put a bet on before the match started. In the dream, The Final was between Everton and Middlesbro’ and I was trying to bet on Middlesbro’.... [ Read More ]
Uno, Dos, Tres... Catorce ??? 12 Dec 2004
Someone should tell U2 that in whatever that feckin’ song is they’re using to sell iPods at the minute, Bonio is screeching “One, two, Three, Fourteen” in Spanish. Is that a fuck-up, or am I missing something incredibly witty and deliberate here?... [ Read More ]
Random Irritations No. 634 09 Dec 2004
Downloads from the net, where not only does the name of the archived file you download bear no relation at all to the name on the download link but uncompressing the archive file produces something with yet another completely different name. I find this is a great way to fill my downloads folder up with either multiple downloads of the same archive file as I hit ‘Download’ again after failing to find a file with the name I’m expecting, or multiple copies of the uncompressed archive as I doubleclick on that repeatedly for the same reason.... [ Read More ]
Slaving Over A Hot Keyboard 03 Dec 2004
Well, there’s nothing like a bout of enforced poverty to get the creative juices flowing! Work has been a bit thin on the ground over the past few weeks. What with Christmas being just round the corner [I think it started in early November this year!] people are obviously saving the money they’d usually spend on vital necessities like websites and programming on idle frippery like booze and mince pies instead.... [ Read More ]
So Bohored Of 'Boho' 17 Nov 2004
As a regular eBay, with my very own wee shop, I’m getting used to the acronyms and buzzwords with which people populate their auction ads, but it seems like in the space of the last week or so, every fecker who’s putting Anything up for auction feels the need to describe it as “Boho”. I presume it’s some kind of derivation of ‘Bohemian’ but do they really need to use it on every feckin’ ad?... [ Read More ]
[Singing] 'I Am Plagiarising - I Am Plagiarising...' 17 Nov 2004
A friendly pat on the back [with a sledgehammer] to the Dickie Beasley at Fuckwitte, Pilloque and Spratt who came up with the stunningly original advert currently airing for the Halifax Building Society! The way that office block, weighs anchor and glides off down the street like a frigate, complete with fluttering tarpaulins for sails is a piece of cinematic genius. Shame on the Monty Python team for blatantly plagiarising this idea back in 1983 with the vastly inferior Crimson Permanent Insurance sketch at the beginning of their film The Meaning of Life!... [ Read More ]
Ask Me No Questions... 11 Nov 2004
Egads! -To the Salisbury Pub last night, with the missus in tow, for the bi-semanal [is that a real word?] Pub Quiz, only to find that they didnae have enough punters in to justify running it this week. What the feck is going on?! - surely we havenae scared everyone else away by our increasingly commonplace and heroic victories? I mean we’ve not even been for about three weeks, so the rest of you had yer window of opportunity to pick up a prize or two if you wanted!... [ Read More ]
Why Do I Buy Appliances That Don'T Exist? 10 Nov 2004
OK -So today the missus decides she wants to do a bit of hoovering round the flat. Now I’m not one to stand in the way of a girl’s ambitions, so I dig out the vacuum cleaner and, ‘lo and behold’ there’s no feckin’ bag in it, nor any in the house. And thus begins the latest in a long line of my Trials of Hercules [Updated and adapted for 21st Century living].... [ Read More ]
Look Out! It'S Middle-Class Multi-Ethnic Model Gang! 10 Nov 2004
The world of advertising, infested as it is with novelty tie and glasses wearing cocklappers of the first order who think the world thousand is pronounced “Kay”, has always been a particular bugbear of mine. So it gives me great pleasure to throw a bucket of cold sick in the face of whichever Dickie Beasley** brought us *“Middle-Class Multi-Ethnic Model Gang” For years advertisers have presented us visions of the world as it should be, rather than as it is.... [ Read More ]
Snap Unhappy 09 Oct 2004
I am a tad pissed off this morning! Ever since I got my luvverly wee Canon Digital Ixus about a year or so ago, I’ve been in the habit of stickin’ it in my pocket everytime I leave the house while proclaiming “I mustn’t forget the Pepperami!” [My hilarious pun on ‘Paparazzi’ -Geddit?]. The missus regularly questions my Boy Scout like photographic prepared-ness with helpful comments such as “Why do you need to bring a camera to Asda?” or “What do you think you’ll find worth photographing on the way to the Post Office?” to which my standard reply has always been “Because the day I don’t bring it, Tony Blair will come skateboarding down the road in the nude with a tramp’s cock in his mouth and I’ll miss my chance to make a fortune!”< So anyway, last night just as we’re leaving the house on our way into town for the usual Friday night all-nighter at Rockworld [AKA ‘Cockworld’], I suddenly think “Oh.... [ Read More ]
Splash Down! 30 Aug 2004
Last night [For the fourth feckin’ time in my cack-handed career] I managed to knock a bottle of beer over in proximity to my computer. Unfortunately, this time the wee blighter didnae survive the assault. He’s been with me about 5 years and has resisted the intrusion of Red Wine and Guinness, but was finally brought to his knees by some Marston’s Pedigree Ale Unfortunately, although I dried the comp out as best I could and left it upside down and dismantled overnight, the Magic Pixies did not fix it while I slept.... [ Read More ]
Brain Drain 27 May 2004
Hot on the heels of our feeble Test The Nation results, I mentioned the other day, me and the missus suffered the further indignity of coming an absolutely pathetic Fifth! in the oul’ Pub Quiz at The Salisbury last night. Following on from our heroic “Two Thirds and Two Wins” in the past five weeks’ run, this was a bitter disappointment for us both, as well as a shock for the legions of my adoring attractive female fans –who sadly failed to turn up this week again.... [ Read More ]
Yin-Yang 27 May 2004
Coming out of college today I crossed the road behind a truck carrying a load of scaffolding bars which was stopped at the traffic lights. The truck was a couple of feet over the line at the lights and while I was walking behind it I suddenly got smacked in the shoulder with the end of one of the scaffolding bars on the back of the truck. The fuckwitt scally driving the truck had decided to reverse back over the line at the lights without looking behind him.... [ Read More ]
Descent Into Senility 22 May 2004
Fuck me rigid wi’ a rusty dildo! Did anyone else try that Test the Nation IQ test the other night on The Beeb? It was loads harder than all the previous ones! I’m tempted to play the “I’d been drinkin’ all day” card as some kind of excuse, but given that in the past I’ve usally been the first to throw the “I’d been drinkin’ all day and I’m still a feckin’ genius!” card onto the table, I think I’d better keep my gob shut!... [ Read More ]
Roll Up! Roll Up! 04 May 2004
Idly thumbing through the TV book in the vague hope that there might be something decent on of a Sunday for a change, I notice that my favourite purveyors of chewing gum for the brain, Channel 5 are showing yet another ‘touchy feely’ documentary about some poor [and no doubt ‘courageous’ and ‘inspiring’] brat who’s been born with some rare genetic disease that…. Well. That’s as far as I could be arsed reading before my booglers started glazing over, but I could hazard a guess: Causes his or her skin to fall off Causes him or her to age eighty years in 6 months Causes him or her to be allergic to The sun, the Moon, water, magnets or some other natural phenomenon Endows him or her with the genetalia of both sexes [or neither] Requires him or her to be kept in a bath of Cod-liver Oil and rubbed with liniment continuously …or any suitably gruesome combination or the above, if not something even more bizarre that Channel 5 have scraped off some abortionist’s slab somewhere and prodded blinking and being ‘courageous’ into the limelight for the great British viewing public to gawp at and prod with their remote controls.... [ Read More ]
Not So Stupid Brain? 30 Apr 2004
Hoo-fuckin-Ray! Last night [Wednesday] was the fortnighly pub quiz at my regular watering-hole, The Salisbury pub in Manchester. And would you believe it? –The big Guy [Yours Truly] and his trusty sidekick [The Missus] won! Not only that, but we won for the second time running. With the first prize being £20 worth of beer and given the fact that we still had a Tenner’s worth of free booze left from last week’s majestic victory, I reckon we actually made a profit on the night, as we only spent about a Tenner in the pub.... [ Read More ]
Talentless Contest 13 Apr 2004
How mentally stimulating to see an advert on Channel 5 plugging their latest forthcoming ‘Reality’ TV show - “Britain’s Worst DIY-er”. Another gem from the people who brought you “Britain’s Worst Driver”! Just think. The braying morons in the studio audience and those farting on their sofas at home will soon be able to slap their flippers together and screech with laughter as they watch yet another group of irritating ‘Fame-at-Any-Price-ers’ parading their potentially lethal incompetence for our entertainment.... [ Read More ]