Sunday, 30 November 2008


My esteemed Bowlie colleague Shoelace does a thing called sPazAmping on his blog where he sets his sentient MP3 player on random and the writes about whatever it throws at him. Its an entertaining read from time to time. Kind of like a stream of consciousness way of writing a blog, the writer doesn't know what its going to be like when he starts.

My MP3 player, iTunes, since it lost my WD MyBook has every single track listed as zero plays, this annoys me about 2 points, so I'm workingthrough listening to every single track on it, all six thousand of them in alphabetical order. I'm up to the Beatles right now after a nice stint with Bearsuit and a brief stint with the Beastie Boys. Uncle Bill would be proud.

Anyhoo, here's my vague idea for a stream of consciousness blog entry, henceforth named LinkSpaz:-

Flavour of the day is this Damian Green business, so I'm going to read the internet about it and post up all the links here...

Spectator Coffeehouse - A Higher Standard
We shouldn't be comparing the Green incident with Zimbabwe, we should be comparing it to our expectations of the UK

The Guardian - Why doesn't anyone say "not in Britain"
Interesting reading about the Sally Murrer case of a stupid police investigation against a journalist which was thrown out of court on a EU technicality which the judge was objecting to but could not resist.

The Times - I feel violated not victorious
The prosecution against Sally Murrer cost £1,000,000? Can we have that money back now please? How may taxpayer hours is that?

Samizdata - Why the Damian Green affair is very good news
Its the Nu-Labour atmosphere that made the police think the Green thing is feasible.

Ooh, when I mentioned taxpayer hour earlier, I kind of figured it would be a quantative measure of government waste that someone else had figured out already. From a quick look on google it seems I just made up something new, a measure of hour long your average citizen has to work to pay for any government thing. Like when some civil service secretary just buys a full price train ticket for her boss instead of spending five minutes extra seeing if there is a cheaper one at a fraction of the price, you could say that it would have been worth six taxpayer hours.

But after a bit more thought, how could you quantify this for civil servants who pay tax? Could the just be paid 50% less and taken out of the tax system?

A worrying twitter update
The other day / week, there was a friend on Facebook who hadn't updated her Facebook profile or left any comments or messages or anything for months and months, since she went away to travel around america and being without phone there was no way any of her friends in the UK could contact her, and we were worried. What do you do in that sort of situation? Call the police, put out message on every social media avenue, or just wait? I pinged a mutual friend who investigated further, and it seems she's okay. Dunno what this tweet is about though.

New York Times - The Napoleon Dynamite problem
Yay for datamining and statistics. Its difficult, and you gotta remember if the police are doing it to find criminals, they're not going to be very good at it.

The niece

Originally uploaded by manc_ill_kid
Small child, running about, greatest thing ever

Adverts as news stories #28

From the BBC

Peter Kay voted UK's top comedian

Phoenix Nights star Peter Kay has been overwhelmingly voted the UK's favourite comedian in an online poll.

The 33-year-old, whose observational comedy routines are rooted in his Bolton upbringing, was chosen by 63% of the 3,000 adults polled.


The survey was conducted for the online bank Smile in November.

Its not an entertainment news story, its an advert for a bank.

And, hang on, a sample size of 3,000 is enough to get featured on the BBC news website frontpage is it? I could do that.

Politics gone bad part 2

Some videos

Friday, 28 November 2008

Somewhat cool

Two somewhat cool things:-

Nuddy chick comments - An actual naked person who I drew discovered my naked chicks website and left a comment. I don't feel creepy at all. Its a strange feeling.

Lots of views already - That origami video I posted up earlier today has had over 1,500 views already. If I get over 20,000 they start paying out, and it looks achievable. Any links greatly appreciated.

Latest money spinning idea

Simultaneous Two Handed Origami - More bloopers are a click away
This is a wee video of me doing origami with both hands at the same time.

You may have seen it before when it was on youtube and featured on boingboing. Yes. Well, now I've slung it on metacafe in the vague hope that it'll make me money.

Also this time round, I've used different audio, its an original song wot I recorded in 2004. Have a listen, its got a kick ass solo for about eight minutes.


I don't think there is anyone who was alive during the Britpop era who wasn't a fan of Cast.

Here's me doing a cover of their second single, Sandstorm

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Electronic component celebrity lookalikes part 1

001 - Gordon Brown
Looks like British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

002 - Angelina Jolie
Looks like Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie

003 - Chris Martin
Looks like Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin

004 - Wayne Rooney
Looks like England footballer Wayne Rooney

OSS 117

Went to the cinema last night, we ended up wandrin in circles round Leicester Square, checking each Odeon in turn until we arrived at the wee pokey one round the corner that does forign movies. I don't think I'd heard of any of them, so our choice was mostly bsed on what time they were on and how hungry we were.

The film we settled on was OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. Whilst based on the original French series of books and films from the fifties and sixties, the film is more of a James Bond spoof, in French with subtitles.

Filmed in the style of Dr No, with the actor chappy looking very much like the original Sean Connery, same costumes, same mannerisms, but also coming off like an awkward Alan Partridge. Some neat camera angles and during the final ten minutes or so, you can just reel off all the 007 movie references

One gripe was that the subtitles were hard to read, white text on white backgrounds, and my Frnech isn't quite good enough to get by without them.

But it was jolly funny. Memorable motifs include the chickens and the light switch, the gay flashbacks, the women underwear wrestling, and they whole cultural awkwardness thing.

The DVD's here, its a bit pricey, but realistically that's cheaper than the cinema.


Should be areas rather than points, but I think I'm going to need feedback from more people to make it representative.

And I still going get the difference between seeing someone and going out with them.

I got a colleague at work to plot his own version of the graph
It clearly shows a inversely proportional relationship between emotional proximity and sex, I reckon thats too cynical.

To develope the exercise further I think another category of 'Dating' needs to be added and I need graph plots from more people.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Everything's okay right now. I smell badly, but I'm in a warm fuzzy place. Work's stressful, but the bits in between are all cosy, with DVDs, wine and curry.

Glasgow Indie Eyespy bubbled to the surface again, somewhere behind me in the office someone was talking about an amplifier from 2006, and I drifted back in time.

Was the flight from Glasgow only last year? And all that business in 2006 still less than two years ago? Now its all just a swirling storm. Still fallout even to this day, friendships still put on hold and loved ones far away.

How differently could things have gone? If I still had the same job and still had the same girl? Its a weird parallel universe out there. Would things have lasted so long, or would for some other reason, a whole lifestyle change come to pass? Would I still have ended up in London? Or in a hospital bed with my legs missing?

Ooh, is that what happened back in '98?

Aye, I realised months ago that sometimes things happen, and even with hindsight there's no way, nothing you can do to stop it.

Hmm, its all a bit of a vague blog post. Alas, the rules say I can't mention names or be too specific.

I was on Facebook, and I see friends chatting to friends, folk still staying in touch, and I wonder why I'm not there too, its almost like there's some other medium out there that I'm not signed up to, something like blogging or twitter or facebook. Maybe its just email, text or phonecalls.

Maybe its just in my nature to be a lonely soul.

And that, your honour, is how I got where I am today.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Spend spend spend

My own tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer was relatively uneventful, tax receipts were healthy, some departments were over-budget and some were under-budget but never by more than a few percent. We approved some long term spending plans that went awry after a while, but nothing dramatic. It was all cut short by some sex-scandal I'd rather not talk about (it wasn't my fault).

One thing I learnt though was that it wasn't my money and there's only so much of it.

However, Alistair Darling, 'Allo Darlin's Pre-Budget Report comes across much like one of these poor demented people who can't stop buying stuff on their credit card, can't afford to pay the repayments, makes the husband give up his beer and his ciggies and then keeps spending and spending.

We don't need a new car dear, we don't need a conservatory, what did you go and buy a new dress for? How much? Christ.

The government are spending our kids money in an almost identical way to if there was no limit to how much the could spend.

I can't stop them.

There was this neat thing the other day when a blogger needed dental surgery, and aftr years and years of paying taxes and national insurance, the NHS was unable to help, so instead the community rallied round and paid for it. The official state is fucking useless, luckily there is an alternative that's more efficient and more helpful. If only we could opt out for paying for the offical one.

"I promise never to use hospitals if I don't have to pay for them"

Anyhoo, if I had the charisma to start a Facebook group to encourage the government to cut spending, I would, luckily I don't. But there is this neat Facebook group trying to cut taxes on beer.

For all of recorded history, people have brewed beer and baked bread. These necessities of life have sustained us for thousands of years. But somewhere along the line demons spoke unto the ears of kings and rulers, urging them to tax beer with the lie that beer was sinful. Even today we still suffer under this unjust tax on a basic foodstuff.

Beer is not a sin. Beer is not a luxury. Beer is tasty. Beer is nutritious. BEER IS FOOD.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Can't they just stop spending our money? pt. 1

Dear god, why can't the government just stop spending money.

Stop borrowing and stop spending, please.

Just stop.

Don't spin and jive and then spend more. Just stop spending our money.

The cut in VAT, from 17.5% to 15%, mostly on non-essentials that we weren't going to buy anyway. But on the essential items like booze, cigarettes and petrol, duty goes up, cancelling any VAT cut. But if its duty that's going up, that doesn't scale.
Its an increase of 2p.

So say petrol is 90p, VAT would be

17.5% = 15.75p
15% + 2p = 15.5p

So its 0.25p cheaper, well done.

But if the price if petrol falls to 80p as I read in some newspaper/blog, then

17.5% = 14.525p
15% + 2p = 14p

Same price, and if it falls below 80p, then they're scraping more than they would have been without the VAT cut.

Fecket, businesses can claim back their VAT on fuel, but I'm kind of sure they can't claim back the duty bit. So this is just grabbing more from businesses who thought that low fuel prices would help a bit.

Pulling things together

Isn't it neat the way this blog covers such widely spread topics as carrier bag knitting and politics.

Yeah, I knew you would.

Anyhoo, so there was that PhonePayPlus mob from the other day, who are a non-profit organisation that regulates the premium rate phone service industry funded by levys on the industry and fines and stuff, rather than being funded by the taxpayer.

And today was fuck up the economy day, or when 'Allo Darlin' presents the Pre-Budget Report.

And I'm suddenly wandering what sort of tax these non-profit quango-like organisations pay. Do they pay corporation tax? Or except National Insurance, are they completely out of the tax system? Could the government tax them?

And what a neat revenue stream that would be.

The art of the viral

Qwghlm's thoughts about his Hitler/BNP/Downfall video that was doing the rounds last week after that BNP membership list got published.

Its kind of interesting when these viral things come from real people rather than just appearing from the ether.

I'd be skipping down the street in my dressing gown if any of the stuff I churn out got covered in The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and The New York Times.

News storys about people being killed by police with tasers

How did this happen?
About 30,000 police officers across all forces in England and Wales are to be trained to use Taser stun guns.

Currently, only specialist firearms officers carry the weapon, which can temporarily disable a suspect.

But ministers will announce plans later to buy 10,000 more Tasers and extend their use to all frontline officers.

Barely a day goes by without you reading some news story from America or Canada about someone being killed by the police with a taser. Here's a video of someone dying from it.

Here's a news story about UK police tasering a guy in a diabetic coma.

Here's Amnesty International UK's report on taser deaths

Here's a list of everyone who's died after being shot by a taser in Canada.

Can we please not have it in the UK?

How can we stop it from coming to pass? Who do I vote for? Come the next general election, regardless of the financial crisis, which party do I vote for if my sole overriding concern is to stop the UK police from having tasers?

Do I have to join the police force, excell in brown-nosing, rise through the ranks, become a chief inspector and then in a meeting say 'no'. Or can I just vote for someone to stop this.

How many people must die?

Here's Engadget with a taser-proof jacket.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Temporary measures

Its been leaked that VAT is going to be cut from 17.5% to the EU minimum of 15%. Somewhere along the line in some places profit margins have been increased by 2.5% which might be passed on to the consumer.

Uncle Iain can't seem to find a single commentary blog which thinks this is a positive thing.

Even uncle Dizzy reckons that in the best case scenario of a four person family, this amounts to around £1,000 a year, but just as a temporary measure. Which will have to be paid back at some point in the future when our finances are in a worse shape.

But I have this about 'temporary measures':

Income tax was also a temporary measure

So here's hoping.


I had an idea, one of these one's that bubble up when your mind boggles. That Ill Theatre thing I do, it could really do with more words, and narative. In fact, its pretty piss poor all round as a webcomic.

The other day there was a story in the Metro about folk laying flowers at the grave of Baby P, or at shrine in where ever they scattered his ashes. There was a photo of the stone, it said 'Baby P' on it.

How de-humanising is that?

Maybe someone for some reason wants to keep his name, Peter, out of the papers, like it would do him any good. He wasn't even a baby, the guy was a toddler at least.

Anyhoo, I had this bad bad idea of doing a comic strip in which Peter was a character. It would be a kind of Tom and Jerry, Itchy and Scratchy, kind of ultra violent comic, with the mother, the boyfriend and his brother and the teenage girl, all living up to whatever the media has portrayed as. Social Workers and Health professionals doing whatever the media has them doing, wandrin' in and wandrin' out, boxes ticked.

All in a comic strip as brightly coloured as Sinfest.

It would be so so wrong.

But then I read this today, its a blog where they comment on comments on the BBC websites and now Facebook hate groups. And I thought, I'd have to include Tracey Hall (West Midlands) as a character in the comic. A villain even worse than Peter's mother. She was just a really crap mother, who couldn't look after her kid, she didn't break anyone's back, she just didn't stop anyone else from doing it.

Tracey Hall on the other hand, she thinks she's a decent mother, but also unashamedly really wants to torture people.

I wonder if this is the same Tracey Hall.

Thank god I'm crap at drawing pictures of women, otherwise that idea could end very badly.

New Shoes

Shoes die. They crack or the soles tear off, they develope holes and stones pierce the skin. Anyhoo, I was down to my last pair of shoes.

God knows how, evolution, survival of the fittest, I don't know, but my smart work shoes had survived longer than my boots or my trainers. I'm not surprised about my trainers dying, they were Converse knock-offs, £7.99 from somewhere in Braehead in the frantic dash before heading to Spain in '06.

Anyhoo, for the past few months, whenever I've headed off to buy new shoes, I wander into Brent Cross or The Trafford Centre, or where ever else people do shopping, I took a deep breath stepped in, then stepped straight out again, almost in tears of frustration.

But this time it was different, I took a girl with me to supervise.

And so I acquired these rather nifty Converse
New Shoes 02
There was a sale on, but there were no Converse in my size, so I just asked the guy to bring out everything in size 11, and after looking in the three boxes that appeared, these ones were the coolest. I think they're going to do as my dancing shoes and driving shoes.

Also acquired were these rather generic boots
New Shoes 04
I admit they were the first ones I picked up in the shop, but they fitted okay and there's not much between one pair of generic boots and the next pair.

At least now I have a full complement of footwhere, I can now spend more time under less pressure to find any more I could need.

Carrier Bag knitting (second attempt)

Time to give up on this year's attempt at knitting a hammock out of carrier bags. It looked like a heap of rubbish in the corner of my room and was just tiny bit embarrassing.

I like the colours in this one, the green, orange and blue could have made a neat picture or something if I'd planned it better.

Then again, I never quite got the hang of doing pictures in knitting and I only ever started it to out-twee the crafty ladies on bowlie.

Here's last year's attempt for comparison
knitting project #8
Last year's was longer, and I think I still remembered how to knit and pearl in alternative lines, this time round, that knowledge had been lost.

Anyhoo, I'm going to consign this one to the bin now unless someone makes and offer for it. I'll accept anything from my Amazon Wishlist.

Friday, 21 November 2008

My blogs technorati ranks

Its late, I'm tired, my judgement is poor. I'm thirsty and have a craving for chocolate milk, and wondering if I mentioned on my blog that I have copies of my naked chicks book to give away, would anyone leave a comment requesting it.

Also, here's a list of my blogs and their technorati scorey things. That popular one at the top should have been more satisfying.


I read this about uncle Boris's plan for an immigration amnesty

I'm no quite sure if this is how it would work, but as a native who's been working and paying tax for the past decade, but if I became an illegal immigrant, would I get out of paying income tax and council tax and stuff?

Cos like, I'd pay to be able to opt out of the system, rather than have to earn the right to opt in.


Interesting article in The Spectator about the erosion of accountability in parliament. In WW2 and the Falklands conflict and the Maastricht debates it was a hotbed of holding the government to account and stuff, but these days, they barely fart when passing through going to war in Iraq or consigning us to higher taxes and living in debt for the next decade.

All the more reason to vote blank.

Olde Times

So last night on Bowlie we were chatting about things and stuff and I posted a link to that Carter USM cover, and I was suddenly overcome with how thinly spread I am, how many pies I have my fingers in. Not large pies mind, just individual portions. There's the blogging, the music, the drawings, the manufacturing, the politicing, the commenting. Its almost too much.

But not quite.

Latest delivery from Lulu came today, five more copies of the post-it notes book so I can start giving them away to anyone who wants one.

And also this.

The new hardback edition of my novel Shag Times.

Its a work of fiction what I wrote in 2001 / 2002 about Craig Illman, a student in Glasgow, who on reading an interview with comedian Ed Byrne saying he used to be a student in Glasgow and shagged hundreds of women, Craig decides to try to shag a hundred women in twelve months. Of course he fails miserably, but its kind of like a bildungsroman thing, and there's Glasgow's millennial live music scene and university and stuff.

Of course, Shag Times was originally an album by the KLF in 1988. But its also a good name for a book.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


So I play that Scramble game on Facebook, its like Boggle or WordTwist or something, some online game from Yahoo games back at the start of the decade. But now on Facebook so you can compete against your friends and girls fancy.

Being a geek, I keep a track of my scores in a spreadsheet.

To the right there is a cumulative frequency graph showing the distribution of scores. I mostly get around 80 points per game, but occasionally I get past 100 points.

You can only piss with the cock you're born with and if you get a crap board, you're not going to get into the hundreds every time.

Here is a graph showing how my average score has changed over time. Well, the average score is the flat lower line, it slowly goes up from 60 something to 70 something.

The other lines are my average for the last five games, the last ten games and the last fifty games. Hey, I think its interesting.


This is my hand with three fingers, just like here, but without the photoshop disaster.

Getting Tattoos

I recorded me a cover of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine's Lets Get Tattoos.

Someone's bound to love my no-fi amateurish style, I can just hear my cover's being included in some cover version podcast out the on teh interweb. Aye.

I cocked up a few times halfway through recording it, but I airbrushed out the mistakes, so you can barely hear the join.


I was wandering through the various blogs in the internet and was rather entertained by Anthony's ranksacking of the PhonepayPlus website on Fresh Plastic.

PhonepayPlus is the industry body that regulated phonepaid services int he UK, premium rate phonelines and ringtone pedellers. This we already knew, but what I read up on just now is the way they are funded. They get their money from the service providers and occasionally from fines, this is as opposed to getting direct government funding.

Now Fresh Plastic has it that they're basically an advertising service for the industry rather than a regulator, and it certainly looks like it, but here's my dialema...

Like any business, they work for whoever pays them, so in this case they're not working for consumers, they're working for the providers, hence the advertising, but if they were funded by the consumer, in the form of being funded by the government, they'd be just another of the great army of unelected quangos which need to be doused in petrol, set on fire and left to run down the street begging people to piss them out.

So how should PhonepayPlus be funded?

I dunno, however they're funded now sucks, and being funded by the government would suck.

This is odd though, they seem to change their directors very frequently. Is this normal?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

London Blogger Technorati ranks

I used to run a wonderful blog in Glasgow called Glasgow Indie Eyespy, therein it ranked every Glasgow-based band, from the mighty Franz and Seb to Some Young Pedro and Molly's Seafoods. I'd pull data in from, google and Technorati, and rank the lot of them into four or five leagues. It was kind of fun and became a bit of a legend within a small music scene. We'd assign points for each band, and if you spotted them in the street or in the pub you'd get points to brag to your mates.

"I pulled the drummer from PopUp!"
"So what, I saw Stuart from Mogwai wearing a stripey jumper"

When I started it I was faced with a scruples about what riht I had to rank bands, how could it harm or encourage their self-esteem, what right did I have affect their careers. Some even called it a stalkers charter.

But anyhoo, I thought long and hard about it back then and did it anyway.

I could think long and hard about this too, but since the decision would be the same, I won't bother:- Here's a list of the blogging folk I was chatting to or saw at the London Blogger's Meetup yesterday, ranked by Technorati authority:-

I've neglected to include any of my own blogs


Bill Drummond, of the KLF, sold more records in 1992 than any other British act, a fete that even Oasis haven't achieved. Anyhoo, that ought to be his brand and his reputation, but instead, he is a money burner, that's his brand. Despite all the rest of his ventures, that's the that's attached to his name now.

So it was I wandered through the bloggers meetup last night, and I was the naked chicks on post-it notes guy. My years of dry-humping the indiepop and local bands music scene with Last Night From Glasgow, Glasgow Indie Eyespy, Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy, it all counts for nothing compared to the damned post-it notes.

It wouldn't be so bad if it was noble or lucrative. But alas, it shuns me from the norm at these things, and has jaded my view of blogging.

I was going to do a rundown of all the blogs and bloggers I chatted to last night, I've got them in a window to the left, in a spreadsheet with their technorati ranks and authorities. I ought to keep that to myself.

Coffee Review

Have started drinking filter coffee, bought a new bag of coffee yesterday rather than scratching about at the back of the canteen at work to see whatever the last ground coffee drinker had in.

So it was I bought Sainsbury's French Style Coffee with chicory.

Its alright. Smells different to the usual coffee.

Today - Pirates and Prostitutes

Thrilling episode of the Today program on Radio4 this morning, not only did it mention th bail out to car makers that Charles Crawford was talking about yesterday (big old companies are failing, but organised enough to ask for money, whilst newer car companies would spend the money better like Tesla and G-Wiz), but also they had on a Nikki Adams, of the English Collective of Prostitutes, talking about changes to prostitution law and the Jackie Smith who appeared to be talking about ways to outsource policework on human trafficking, which is different issue.

Just when it couldn't get even better they announced that the Indian Navy had sunk a pirate mothership.

Anyhoo, about prostitution and people trafficing/slavery, they're like the two oldest professions, and here they are neatly resolved into a single issue. Sadly they're very different things.

My take on it all is they should legalise it all, license it all and regulate it to buggery. If you want your hole you gotta make sure they're qualified and certified, aye. Free regular healthchecks and all that.

Gah, I just drew pictures of naked women, I'll leave discourse on these matters to the experts.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


I so have to surpress this urge to maim. Maybe if I just do a draft post filled with rage, then I delete it, it will exorcise my daemons.

Am currently reading a book called 'Seeing' by Jose Saramago.

On the London Underground there are posters for a new film called 'Blindness', and then the other day my brother was telling me about it on the phone, he'd read the IMDB page. It did sound intriguing, so I had a wander round the internet reading up on it.

I got distracted though, and read about the sequel book, the aforementioned 'Seeing'

Ooh, this is a good juncture to talk about 'flags'.

People are drawn to flags, they rally round flags, you can see flags in the distance, in the army, its a good thing if your flag is still flying, the enemy hasn't captured and lowered it.

Here on the internet a flag is something you wave to get people attention, specific. Here on the internet, links are flags.

If I put a link in to someone else's website, sure, you the reader can click through and read whatever's on that other page, but also, the author of the other page can see the click through, they can see that I've mentioned them, and so they come and read my page.

You can use links as flags to target specific people, influential bloggers and opinion formers.

Flags are great.

They also work another way. Sure if I want people to read a post, I put in links and flags, but if its an unpleasant blog post where I'm venting my spleen for my own sanity and I don't want people to read it, then I don't put in any helpful links, or tags and make it hard to read.

This blog gets its regular readers, I label them in statcounter with names like 'From Nottingham with Love', 'Who do I know in Edinburgh' and 'Its Kerry innit'. They don't mind if I vent my spleen and express hatred of my loved ones

Anyhoo, so in my spare time at work I read political blogs, like Guido and Dev, and Tim and Charles Crawford. Its where I get my daily dose of news and politics, I don't read the news papers or TV, I used these people to filter it for me. It gives me a slightly warped view of the world.

When they complain that the mainstream media is painting Gordon Brown as some kind of economic saviour, I didn't get that at all, cos all I read is about how its all his fault.

Anyhoo, so the premise of the book 'Seeing' is that there is an election in 'the city' and 78% of the votes cast are blank. Not spoilt or absentee, but blank. People have come out to vote, but have selected no candidate. And so the government flaps, and declares martial law, and tries to figure it out.

I was so intrigued by this concept, that I clicked straight through to Amazon to buy the book.

I was talking to a writer last night about how to get people to buy your own book online, and this was a great example. The concept drew me in so quickly and it was so easy to buy. No one asked me to buy the book, I just had to get it as quickly as possible.

I'm only twenty pages in, they've had the election, but I'm still projecting my own thoughts and reasons as to why the electorate did what they did. I think its political apathy or disillusionment with modern politiking. Yeah, we've got to vote, but what's the point?

Even in those first twenty pages there are things that chime. The reaction from the authorities to the first wave of blank votes, that 'we all agree there ought to be a thorough investigation', 'lessons have to be learnt'. We get the same from real-life politicians, about everything, Baby P, financial collapse, bomb-proof army vehicles, and its all bullshit. Its always the same and its all bullshit.

The books written in a weird style, mind. Long long sentences, sometimes conversational, sometimes you're not sure who's talking, stylings punctuation you see. Its like a verbal version of quirky soviet block animations.

1MMP Project pt1

I woke up still seething about last night, trying to verbalise my angst and frustrations, but also trying to balance, and if only I can distract myself with creative stuff until I've calmed down then I'll be able to break the cycle of fucking up my social with verbal expressions of rage. (see here and here and read the comments too)

Anyhoo, on with the 1 Month Mobile Phone Project.

My current mobile phone, I reckon if I tried hard, could have a phonecall that lasts one hour. Its battery measures approximately 5 x 30 x 40 mm, its a wee thing. So in terms of volume to call length, 6000mm^3 for that is its volume, equals 1 hour of talk time.

For the 1MMP Project I want a whole month of talk time, which is 744 hours. So by spinning it out and then figuring out sizes, my battery pack needs to be 15 x 15 x 20 cm approximately.

That's actually smaller than a car battery. This should be easy.

I'm not sure hour much that would weigh, I have no appropriate scales in my bedroom here. But that will be the next task, figuring out the weight.

And 18 months down the line, by the power of Moore's Law, it'll be half the size anyway.


Before I post about my cynical road to demascus moment and bitter biiter revert to type, I need preamble and explanations. Not today, cos I'm drunk and tired and miss the girl, but later.

I think I ought to cover my concept of internet / social flags, those markers that draw people, like the cool kids at school or sticking in links to bloggers who pay attention to webtraffic.

Also, I should link to the old Gresham Flyers review and that thing about the platform at Indietracks, to show the level of bridge burning my usual revert to type sinks to.

Hmm, is this enough?


I think I also need to post my final tally of traffic stats for the naked chicks site, and underline my authority on such matters.


Went to the London Bloggers meet up this evening.

Had a road to Damascus moment of epifany. It was a bit grim. I scrawled notes on my pad and will sling them on ill theatre with indepth typings later, but I think I ought to stick to the positive shades now.

The 1MMP Project. I want a mobile phone that will go for a month without recharging. Not a month in standby, but hey, a month talk time, without charging. I don't care if it has a tiny display and the battery is like a car battery. Those are my specs, now lazyweb, deliver!!

And then, once we have that under our arm or in our backpack, I want the 1MLT Project, a laptop that will go for a month without recharging. Not a month on standby, but a month on wifi, downloading things and stuff I don't care if the screen is small and dim and the battery is like a wheelbarrow. Those are my specs, now lazyweb, delicver.

Send in McDonalds, PepsiCo and IBM

Have just read this interesting essay about Amazon Space.

If you want to improve the lot of developing nations, send in McDonalds, PepsiCo and IBM, let them build the IT infrastructure. Mobile phones and roads will follow.

Now if there was just some way to prevent the Nigerian spam emails...

Monday, 17 November 2008


Now over on ill theatre, I spend the night in drawing other stuff and churned out an animation. Its a bit jerky, but it goes on for the best part of thirty seconds. I reckon at a pinch I could do the whole three minute music video.


Looks like I was a couple of months ahead of XKCD

If its Turing complete, you can run an indiepop messageboard, aye?

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Sack 'em

This week the news has been dominated by the case of Baby P, as the other week it was the Brand / Ross / Sachs affair.

Lest we forget the fallout from that was Brand quit, Ross was suspended and the head of Radio2 and SixMusic quit, all of which saving the lisence payer a few hundred thousand pounds and possibly preventing the same thing happening again.


Alas, with the Baby P affair, no one has yet lost their job, but the list of those responsible just keeps growing.

Okay, accepted that the mother, Tracey Connolly, her boyfriend, Stephen Barker and his brother Jason who killed young Peter (photies here) have had justice served, but that's not quite the issue. The issue is that there was a kid in trouble and whatever procedures were followed by the state resulted in the kid's death.

First we have social workers, police and health professionals who visited the kid 60 times, in the 8 months leading to his death, that's about seven times a month, maybe twice a week, and the kid still died, so lets sack the social workers, police and health professionals, they are in capable of doing their job.

Dr Sabah al-Zayyat who examined Baby P two days before his death, who's incapable of doing her job. Can we take away her medical license? She's responsible for her patient's death.

Health Visitor Paulette Thomas, ought to try doing data entry or warehouse work from now on, she doesn't seem to be so good at Health Visiting.

Social Worker Maria Ward, possibly some job that doesn't involve dealing with other people. The social work thing just isn't working out.

Then we have the four government ministers, David Lammy (minister as well as the tragic Baby P's own MP), Patricia Hewitt, Ivan Lewis and Rosie Winterton who were sent a letter by Nevres Kemal (the whistleblowing social worker), they failed in addressing the problem, regardless of whatever procedures they followed, the kid died, can we sack the MPs, they are in capable of doing their job.

Then there's the other folk at Haringey Council, I'm not quite sure who Lynne Featherstone is, but she was chasing up the matter with George Meehan, Leader of Haringey Council and Ita O'Donovan, Chief Executive of Haringey. They knew about it before Baby P died, and whatever procedures they followed, the kid died, these folk should be sacked, they are incapable of doing their job.

What about Sharon Shoesmith? I say sack her. If she's as good as the headteachers claim then she'll be able to find alternative employment elsewhere and whatever talents she has won't be wasted. But Haringey ought to have someone else.

How about closing down Haringey Council's Children's services department completely, sack the lot of them and divide up the constituency with neighbouring councils who have lower casualty figures. Let the folk there, who's procedures appear to be more effective, let them get the budget to spend and employ those who are able and compentent.

These are the times for sacking the incompentent. And if these aren't the appropriate times then when is?

Friday, 14 November 2008

Comic to reality

RSA is an encryption algorithm
Second Amendment is the right to bear arms
In the UK we have the Bill of Rights which enshrines the same sort of thing for all non-Catholics, all we need is an English law ruling on whether we can have RSA classified as munitions and we'll be away.

New hobby

New hobby 1
Originally uploaded by manc_ill_kid
My new hobby at work, making geometric shapes out of starch packaging

The thanks post

Have posted an acknowledgements post up on the nuddy chicks site, all emotional and stuff. Links to a load of the blogs who've linked to me, a wee list of the models I've enjoyed drawing most, a wee list of the real life folk I've drawn whether they knew it or not, and then a wee bit of a summary of my life over the past eight months or so for post-it erotic art fans to feel like they know me.

Already folk have been leaving comments, it gives me a wee fuzzy feeling inside.


Thursday, 13 November 2008


No matter how much I tried hacking away at 17, Bill Drummond's book never fails to deliver.

The narative finishes with him watching a fucking Ralf Little sitcom and the list of members of The17 finishes with the name of my first girlfriend. Its like a little echo of mid-nineties love.


I made me a theme tune for t'other site

On reflection it could do with a second verse, even if it was just the "dum dum dum di dum dum" thing

Trying out a new video Host

Hi there, here, if you're not at work, try watching this

The Final Five - The best free videos are right here
Its the video I did yesterday I'm trying out MetaCafe as a video hosting site, apparently its a revenue sharing place if you get over 20,000 views, which is possible.

Or try the link to the actual video page here

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Have slung up a final video on the nuddy chicks site, its only eight seconds long, but I ran out of post-it notes for the day.

Have a look here

Recycling is bullshit

This from treehugger is interesting.

Litter as a concept was invented by drinking and sweet manufacturers in the 1950s and 60s, before then everything was reused.

In 1947 around 98% of beer sold was in reusable bottles and almost 100% of soft drinks, but now its less than 5%.

So presumably, back in the day, as well as higher costs and less efficient manufacturing, the producers had to pay for the reuse logistics system, but by going disposable, this cost becomes someone else's problem, the consumer or the state.

I'd never quite thought of it like that.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sultans and CarterUSM

Am knackered and hungry, here, have a listen to me doing a cover of the Sultans of Ping and the sequeing into a Carter USM cover cos that's the way the tracks were on the original EP.

Monday, 10 November 2008

NCoPIN Update

Hello readers, I bet you're aching to know how I'm getting along with my latest creative endevour, yes, Naked Chicks on Post-It Notes.

Well, I've only got twenty drawings left to do. I made good progress on Saturday, knocking out about ten pics, but then as the evening approached I was distracted by neighourly parties, drinking and becoming all gregarious. I don't know what came over me, but I found myself speaking to some nice people.

All these years of thinking tht whoever I might be living next door to must be wrong, was wrong, neighbours are nice. Its like Friends or Neighbours or something but with real people instead of actors.

Anyhoo, Sunday was a little hungover and then a little musicy and then all fuzzy.

Hopefully tonight I'll be able to crack out another five or six pictures. The plan is to get it all done by the end of the week, the publicity machine will kick in, and sales of the book will rocket.

They currently stand in single figures, well, one single figure, so it doesn't really count. So much for the 'legion of fans'.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

New Clothes

Originally uploaded by manc_ill_kid
I hardly ever buy new clothes, there just something about fighting your way through shops trying to find something correctly. But today I got myself some.

The pants are a bit too short.

Friday, 7 November 2008

I'm a comic artist


Crikey, I haven't posted in like ages, it must be two months or something. I just don't know where the time goes.

So yeah, so Lulu have my book for sale, only £5. Sales are teetering on the edge of one which has got to be a new record for me selling books this year.

Apart from that its been all go with work and things and stuff. I haven't been to any gigs in ages, which is worrying, I used to love going to gigs. There was a The School gig last night in Brixton, but I'd fallen asleep so much on various trains home from work, that I was too knackered to go out.

I miss The School.

Many things and people I miss. So near and so far away.

Haven't spoken to parents in weeks and weeks. I could be missing loads of gossip, or maybe not.

Have been dancing quite a bit, that you probably already know, I barely stop talking about Lindy Hop every day, and the Charleston, I think I like the Charleston more than Lindy Hop, but I hardly get any time to practise at home. I gotta download something to dance to, all I have at the moment is occasional Angelo Badalamenti tracks.

Hey, when am I going to see you again? We should go for coffee sometime and catch up. I read you were in a bad way, I wish there was something I could do to help.

Its been too long.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

My fourth book

My fourth book
Originally uploaded by manc_ill_kid
My copy arrived this morning.

All shiney and new

Available for only £5 from here

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Who are these people who read my blog, like I see the same IP addresses time and time again, and some of them have locations attached to them like whoever it is in Nottingham, there used to be someone from Nottingham at the NHS who read it, and occasionally there there's an address from Edinburgh.

And then a load of folk from London, but I can only imagine one or two people who would read regularly.

Is it people I actually write about, or just distant but interested parties?

There's a couple of internationals who read regularly but occasionally, and I love them, its like long lost uncles and aunties. We should send Christmas cards and stuff.

I ought to see you guys more often in real life.

The 500

I'm really hungry this morning, and for some reason thinking about an ex-girlfriend.

Well, I type 'for some reason' but that reason is cos in my NaNoWriMo I'm up to the chapter entitled 'Lessons Learnt from Ex-Girlfriends'.

Whilst the relationship was pretty much doomed from the start. It ended years later cos, well, I like to think so, because she chose the other guy cos he didn't know how ill she was, and I did. Maybe I just cared too much.

So maybe, to overcompensate I care less now, and come across as a bit of a user, or just a cunt.

I remember the things we used to do during the good times, the dancing in the street and the crazy adventures, Christ, we went to Leeds. I remember the insecurity and then the trust and finally the loss.

Crikey, I'm hungry. How long til lunch?

Monday, 3 November 2008


Aye, so I've discovered my 'storefront' page on Lulu, the book publishing website. Its here.

Marvel at my literary prowess, and feel free to buy a copy of the cheap book if you want, careful with the expensive one, its really expensive cos I'm hopng no one will buy it.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Sunday To Do list

My mind's boggling and I was hoping to go out today with a person, however, things keep bubbling up in my head that I just have to do:-
  • Sling Shag Times onto Lulu
  • Sling Ill and Ancient onto Soundcloud
  • Record On Top Of The World cover and sling onto Soundcloud
  • Draw five four pics
  • Write today's NaNoWriMo, attempting to review every gig I've ever been to, in order
  • Go to Lindy Hop advanced beginners workshop
  • Go to cinema
  • Do laundry
  • Destroy a bit more of 17
  • Make up some more JJ CDs

World domination lies just at the other side of getting all this done. Trust me.

Hmm, this publishing thing is almost too easy. I've put the price at £40 to dissuade all but the most determined from buying it, and from flicking through the preview I've already noticed few typos and a couple of names I forgot to change. Hopefully the profits will pay for the court cases.
Ill and Ancient - Not justified, just ill, its like a pun or something. The story of my life, sung badly but with a blistering guitar solo which will quite literally set your hair on fire.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

NaNoWriMo dreams

I've got this chap's blog on my bloglines feedreader, I read it occasionally, once a week or so rather than other feeds like Treehugger or BoingBoing which I pick up daily. I like his comic reviews, they remind me that I really need to get back into that tracksuit. Anyhoo Ian had posted that he was participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

There's no way on earth I can possibly squeeze in writing a 50,000 word novel along with completing my drawings and my knitting and the dancing and servery stuff and 65 hour work weeks.

So I churned out a quick 1,963 words. The plot of my novel looks like its going to be about me trying to escape from all the memories in my head and moaning about girls.

Further down on Ian's blog he's been writing about the Bowlie Alldayer, and look, there's me.

From whence they came

Another evening in after a punishing day at work, sobbing myself to sleep, unsure what day it is.

I tried shopping, Chris needs new shoes, so I tried Brent Cross, but after all these years, I'm unable to do shopping.

Sure, Zee tried to get me into it, Mop too, and I probably went shopping with Rachel once or twice, but on my own, I cn't do it.

It must have been about a year ago that I did my last clothes shopping adventure, I got a four pack of identical shirts (blue, too small) and a pair of jeans that were both not long enough and too tight.

My boots died last week, and I realised I have only one pair of shoes. I have running shoes, but they're essentially socks with soles, and no good for wearing in non-running environments. I need sweatpants too and possibly a hoodie of some description.

Anyhoo, tonight is a night for hiding in my room (again?), there are no gigs to go to and I has teh fear too much for Crimes Again Pop. My plan is to draw a load of nuddy pics, only 59 left, and also I saw this blog, it pops up from time to time whenever I search for owt on Hypem, from what I gather its just a list of links to various MP3s on the internet. I want to do one of those too.

Will try below, and also include reasons why.

Manda Rin - Less than Zero - The Never Mind the Buzzcocks affair
Built to Spill - Broken Chairs - Something on a Facebook newsfeed
Built to Spill - Liar - as previous


Hmph, this is bad, my steppenwolf-ish isolated lifestyle has made me incapable of understanding the basic concepts of networked computing. I'd like to blame the first girl to dump me, but its probably not her, its me.

I have before me three computers (laptop, desktop1, desktop2) running five operating systems between them.
XP (laptop, desktop1, desktop2)
Ubuntu desktop (laptop)
Ubuntu server (desktop2)
Right now I'm typing on my laptop thats running Ubuntu desktop because when I used XP after fifteen minutes the internal speaker plays a weird beepy tune and then the whole thing shuts down.

I have my manufacturing database which is currently only used by me, but backed up daily on an SD card and other places. The manufacturing database is in OpenOffice Base 2.3 format.

I have installed OpenOffice 2.4 on my laptop in Ubuntu and on desktop1 in XP

I have also copied the manufacturing database into the shared folder on desktop1 and can somehow access it there from my laptop in Ubuntu, but its read only.

The whole shared directory version of the database was the idea of a chap downstairs, it never really occurred to me to do it that way. But it kind of works, now I just need to install OpenOffice onto a few other computers so that other folk can access it.

Other information that may be helpful is that the database is about 2mb right now, doubling every six months