Friday, 16 July 2004

but perfectly formed

Running a small publishing house calls for meticulous planning, something I sometimes forget.  Imagine my surprise last week to find that we only had 7 copies of the Cadw Swn coursebook left! Luckily our printer is a whizz, and less than one week later we have shiny new stock.  Just in time for some orders from America too.   They call it print-on-demand you know.  

Thursday, 15 July 2004

timeslot abuse

When I was young and foolish I used to think that there was one common reality that we all inhabited; that we all experienced the same existence. I now realize of course, that we each inhabit separate timeslots, which often bear no relationship to each other. We all give meaning where there is none to events, objects and beings which in fact comes from within. We interpret the world, while merely watching a hollow reflection of it in our mind's eye, colored by the paint of meaning we insist on laying over everything.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004

is that me?

Fancy a shock? go to google's image search and type in your name to see if you exist, or if someone else has stolen your identity. I nearly didn't recognize myself. Then I found the handsome one. Ha.

Linguistic Fascism

It's something that French speakers and Welsh speakers have been concerned about for ages, now it's rearing its head in (UK, British if you must) English. Some might call it Linguistic Fascism. It happens when one language becomes stronger than another and starts eating into it. We're all familiar with 'le weekend' and the like in French. Similarly many people complain of the number of English words in Welsh, often mistakenly as some words (eg. car) taken to be English actually come from the Welsh, or Brythonic as it was once known. (I'm sure that you'll recognize the odd axe which needs grinding under even my lavender pillow. This is my Blog, buster.
The boot has been on the other foot for a number of years now, but little reaction has been noticed. I merely note that soon we'll all be speaking, and writing, American English. There is no alternative, as Microsoft's Windows Media Center, soon to appear in everyone's living room, so clearly illustrates.

Friday, 9 July 2004

cardboard box in the road

When I'm old and grey, sitting in my rocking chair surveying the delights of Cwm Llynfi someone is bound to mine the vast pit of knowledge I've acquired over the years.
'What changes have you seen, in your long and varied lifeslot, oh old one?' they'll ask. And two things spring to mind.
Kite technology and jellies.
When I was young flying a kite was a nightmare. Sure, you could get it up (oo err missus) in a strong wind, but keeping it there was nigh impossible. Today's lightweight kites however are a breeze (ow); as my Clifford the Big Red Dog kite proved last year in West Wales.
And also; have you made a jelly recently? Just put the pieces in a jug with a little water in the microwave for 20 seconds, then top up to a pint with cold tap water! Now when I was young, etc. etc.

Thursday, 8 July 2004

war is over if you want it

Hurray! Mindless sgumbag leech spammers are finally beaten!!! I had a friend who was a copywriter once. He told me to always use an odd number of exclamation marks when getting exited. So...
Eat dirt mutant parasites!!!!!
I've been trying to get my spam under control for some time now. I found 143 spams in my inbox after a recent weekend away, and I know I'm only a long-forgotten cult with no friends. (Aww)
Mailblocks seem to have found the answer. Simply open an account with them (free if you want to be a sad cheapskate) and say goodby to Spam forever. (100% they claim) How does it work? Anyone who's not in your address book is sent a 'challenge' email the first time they send you an email. They simply have to type in some characters generated by mailblocks into a box, which confirms that they're not a machine. They then get placed in your address book, and their emails get through. Nice.

nothing to declare but

While searching for a free online IQ test I came across Mr Ego figured he could safely ignore the results if they proved a little too embarrassing, so on with the test with we. Around ten minutes later I was puzzled to find that the site wanted my credit card details to pay for an in-depth IQ report. Another lonely scam, I thought, and browsed my pointer elsewhere, whingeing idly. But one should not always thrust daffodils up cows' noses, as the ancient Cornish proverb advises.
For there smiling fondly in my in-tray was an e-mail detailing my infallible score of 154. Not merely 'Gifted Borderline Genius', or even 'highly gifted and appearing to be a Genius to most others'. Oh no, true scientifically proven authentic 'genius'.
Now you may scoff, scratch and even ponder on how reliable a site which sells reports of a person's IQ test is. After all, they're not going to sell many lame duffers a report are they?
I merely encourage you to visit the site and to take their test; you must be the judge.
I meanwhile, am happy to repeat a single, magnificent, ego-massaging word;

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

thru the looking glass

"And another thing;" the turtle sang, "never start a sentence with 'and'."
You will no doubt have noticed that, wherever possible, I follow the American rules for spelling, vocabulary and grammar in my hollow musings. 'Sidewalk' replaces 'pavement', 'thru' replaces 'through' and so on. My weblog spellchecker helpfully only works in American English, thus streamlining the process. UK English (or British English if you must) is of course a dying language, and the sooner we all fall-in with our American cousins the better. Pass the candy, darling.


Things to do with £26,000 part 3.
Why not pop along to andipa modern for a signed Andy Warhol Mickey Mouse print complete with diamond dust. Framed too. It's got to be worth a look.
Popular culture is course primarily educational. No-one in the New Millennium can have any doubt as to the spelling of mouse, thanks to the world's favorite rodent.
I was also delighted to hear my daughter tell me that she learnt to write the letter 'm' from the McDonald's arches logo. That's one letter of the alphabet covered before school even starts, oh King of Burgers.

white punks on dope

Splendid as ever, this month's Trakmarx rotating dotcom thing has a none-too-glowing piece on Morrisey, some Slits stuff, and a profile of the Angular Recording Company. Something Blondie too, no doubt.
You'll want to view their interview with me here, obviously.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004

out of time

I have a past you know. Oh yes, a deep dark secret past. I used to write computer games for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. 'Rock Star Ate My Hamster' was one of my more successful, although I designed 'Grange Hill' for Argus Press Software, and worked with Mel Croucher on ID and Deus ex Machina. Deus ex Machina by the way (not the PC shoot-em-up of recent years) was a true interactive movie; with the voice talents of Ian Dury, Jon Pertwee, Frankie Howard and more. It was truly groundbreaking stuff, and won a number of awards. I programmed the C64 version.
Anyway, the thing about a secret past, as you all know, is that it comes back to haunt you at some point. So last week I received an e-mail from someone enquiring about my unpublished masterpiece 'Darkness at Dawn'. This was a corker of an idea; an adventure game based only on sound. Each location, object and character had a sound or piece of music associated with it. You could even turn the text off and have a blank screen. Mel even recorded a couple of audio tracks for me to go on the B-side (games came on audio cassettes in those days).
The trouble was, of course, that both Mel and myself were catering to a mature, experimental market which simply did not exist. Since I don't believe that such an audience exists today I can't even say that we were ahead of our time. Out of our time, more like.

Friday, 2 July 2004

the vain machine (part 2)

Imagine my surprise to find that the domain was available. Apparantly once owned by an organization called the Council of Learning, it was lying idly in the dustbin of cyberspace. Not any more; £1.99 is money well spent on my first 3-letter (sort of) domain name.
Makes you wonder though. I know that there's no meaning to anything, certainly not a combination of letters in the ether, but there doesn't seem to be any sort of history kept of domain names and their change of use. Only, as far as I can tell, who currently owns a name.

Thursday, 1 July 2004

the vain machine

Received my Poptoon today from talented American artist Tori Seigel at I must say that she has been very kind with my likeness, though she obviously had great material to work with. Ha ha.