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Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016


just recently i had an accident with my little laptop. i am going through a phase of not sleeping very well but being able to drop off to sleep anywhere and without much warning.
see that fat hairy guy in pret a manger snoring? probably me.
see that fat hairy guy on the train snoring? probably me.
see the fat hairy guy on the tube..
well you get the picture.

there is no transition. i am awake. i am asleep. bosh.

this is not a good situation when you have a laptop in your hands. bang.
laptop dented and cracked. but still working.
good for you hp computers.
this is not a good situation when you have cup of coffee in your hand while next to your laptop. splish splosh.
laptop covered in lukewarm latte. still working.

well it was working and then it wasn't. well some of it works and some of it doesn't - about half the keyboard is buggered. not much good when what you want to do is type. not much use when you need to type your password to get on the darned thing.
strangely over a few days the parts of the keyboard that don't work have moved.

oh well time to get a new laptop.
long and short of it is i have a new laptop.
new laptop means new problems.
i can't remember any of my passwords. used to be so simple when they were all a variation on my favourite bruce willis film (no not that one - that is the greatest film of all time). stupidly i heeded the warnings of simple easy to remember password used multiple times: so i changed them all and made them 'secure'.
cleverly i sent them to myself on email so i could access them at a later date - just in case i forgot them or hadn't used a site for a long time. see i can be smart when i have to.

of course it shouldn't have been a problem - other than the fact of my recent fall from grace has meant that i don't have access to my desk top computer and a nifty little notepad in which i had written down several of the more important passwords. added to that all my passwords were saved by the relevant sites.
oh you know where this is going.

so i try to sign into a website with what i thought was the password. didn't work. no luck. tough titty.
no worries that password will be in my hotmail account.
off to the hotmail site - go to log in and what do you know? shit i have forgotten my password. how? i've been typing that password on and off for years, but now....

funny enough the one password i could find was for blogger.
i use it.
get told that this is unusual activity on my account and so i need to confirm my identity by (oh you guessed it) by replying to an email sent to my email account. i think the technical term is: shit.

as fate would have it i also worked out my log in for flickr. get the same result. now two sites rest on my remembering the password to the hotmail account. no pressure then.

(as an aside - both of these sites (and i am sure i will have a similiar problem when i work out my twitter password) are social media style sites, the sort of site you might wish to access from anywhere that has access to the internet, rather than be tied to the home desk environment - that after all is what adds the social benefit to social media. turns out that view is just a tad naive.

the next few days are spent trying to get hotmail to work. i remember the password, sort of, so i begin to work through variations of it (cursing, as i go, the fact that i can't locate the notebook that has it written down in - because i know i have it close to hand, somewhere (my new situation means i have stuff all over place).
first attempt fail.
second attempt fail
third, fourth,, fail, fail.
there comes a time with hotmail that it too decides there is unusual activity taking place with the account and adds in an additional layer of frustration: the catchpa. so now i don't know what i am getting wrong - the password or the catchpa or both. aaaaargh!
hunt for notebooks.
write out more variations on a password.
let muscle memory kick in.
fail. fail. fail.

after a few days i go around the sites one more time see a break in trying to crack the site meas i see if they will allow me to try again and work. lo and behold blogger is up and running and here i am.

this break/delay has thrown out my plans for my memories series - so expect a bunch of them over the next couple of days, normal service is about to be resumed.
you lucky people.

still haven't worked out the hotmail password, still working on it, maybe crack it next time.

Sunday, October 09, 2016


i remember the day i decided not to meet a hero.

the job had sent me (well forced me) to go to new york to attend the new york comicon. i really didn't want to go (yeah i don't understand it either) and almost sabotaged it by not having my passport ready in time.

i did get the passport, a day before i was to travel – plenty of time not cutting it fine at all. i did get to the airport in time – a matter of minutes, plenty of time. cutting it fine? never.
i survived the flight.
while the cab ride into mahattan provided a fantastic introduction to the city - i did not get one of those interesting cabbies of film, tv and everyone else who went to new york: you know the ones who tell you about their experiences from their days before being a cabby:explorers, spacemen, elite special forces. or the proud new yorker who knows everything and everyone in nyc and wants to tell you everything about his city. no i got the ones who chatted to their family on the mobile. total bummer.

i enjoyed, no loved, the few days i had to myself to walk the manhattan streets and art galleries.

but work. i had to go to work.
i turn up at the convention centre to see what i can do to help – turns out very little the boys and girls of diamond are a well organised machine when it comes to setting these things up and i am the proverbial spanner in the works, the fly in the ointment. i end up doing make work just to look like i am doing something and not getting in people's way.
at double quick time the booth is being erected.
i am oohing and aahing at some of the product – ever the fanboy.
all around booths are getting to that point where they are complete and those manning them are relaxing or starting to do the serious business of selling and buying.

as the uk representative of the company i decide to go and scope who is there – to see if there are people i can talk to in order to see what we can do to increase their sales or profile in the uk,
wandering to the back of the hall mostly populated with independent dealers and small publishers i spy a total star of the comic firmament. a hero. a great.

now i am not someone who cares much for celebrity. there are people i worship for what they do but i don't really go out of my way to find out more about them. i love their work and i want them to produce more of what it is they do that i like.
among that group there are a handful i want to have the opportunity to go up to shake their hands and thank them for the hours of pleasure they have given me over the years and to thank them for future work that they are going to do. (i would keep the gushing down to a minimum.)

the man heading up the continuity comics booth is just one of those people. as i live and breathe it is neal adams. neal fucking adams. oh i just have to go and say hi and thanks. i just want to tell him how much i love his work and how i have just ordered all three the batman hardcovers collecting his ground breaking run on the character.
oh shit i can feel a gush coming on.
there is a teenager at the booth chatting to neal adams – he has a recorder in his hand. turns out the chap is trying to do an interview with neal adams. also turns out that neal adams is being a total arse about it. well that's not very good is it. my hero, this star is totally up his own arse. what a wanker. all my good will and gush towards him have quickly turned to vitriol.
now given my recent wayne sleep story (and people say i just throw this shit together) i am well aware that celebrities of all stripes have to put up with total wankers and anybody watching waynegate would tell you wayne sleep was fully justified in what he said to me, but from where i was standing neal adams was just being a cunt.
i walked away.
i never said thank you.
i never shook his hand.
i never got let my hero know his work was respected and appreciated,
why because he was acting like an uber wanker's uber wanker.
i never read the three collected volumes – they now felt tainted.

it was a reminder that as much as you like people for their work – quite often they are not their work. sometimes it is the other way around i can't stand neil gaiman's work but everything i hear about him paints him as a top bloke.
perhaps it is better to keep a distance from your heroes and just their work speak for them.

i still enjoy looking at pages of neal adams's work, but i am more thankful to him for providing a lesson in not putting people on pedestals.

Saturday, October 08, 2016


i remember the day i got my nipples pierced

the last tattoo i got done is a fantastic piece – it is a hopi indian symbol that mean cloud that walks alone. now i'd like to take credit for how it sometimes is an accurate portrait of how i see me and the world but in truth i just like the design.
a moment of synchronicity.
while process of getting the ink and looking after it was not one of the best experiences to go through -i love the result. to this day i have no idea why it was a nightmare – the best i can come up with is i just wasn't in the mood.

but once bitten by the body modification bug it is hard to completely walk away from it especially as where i was working it seemed like barely a week would go by without someone getting more ink or a piercing.

suffice to say it wasn't long before i wanted something else done. i still wasn't sure about another tattoo i couldn't find a design i really liked and i wasn't ready to relive the travails of the last one. so move into new ground and new experience – let's get the nipples pierced. as i couldn't remember and couldn't be asked to find out which nipple was the straight one and which the gay one (the body as a call card) i thought i'd go all in and get both pierced and that is exactly what i did.

i went to a painfully hip and trendy place in smithfield. i even got there on time.
i explained this was going to be my first piercing and i was somewhat nervous. no worries, they tell me, simple process you'll barely feel it. yeah right i thought.

the piercer cane to collect me and we descended to the bowels of the shop. dark gloomy and atmospheric, it could happily double for a set in a hammer horror movie or be used for a dominatrix's dungeon.
the young chap who is going to do the deed has a maori style arm tattoo – i never quite understood the attraction of such tats just a lot of black ink on skin, may as well just do a new design every week with a marker pen, but that dear reader is the joy and wonder of tattoos: they are such a personal expression of who we are.
we chat. i once again go over the fact i am a bit of a wus when it comes to pain. he tells me that don't worry it doesn't hurt, and that it is best not to have a numbing agent, just get it done and enjoy that endorphin kick when comes rushing through the body.

he directs me to the old leather dentists chair – the back of my mind is screaming out DON'T GO THERE but that is because i have seen too many horror films. i take my top off and he begins to work on the nipples.
first problem: sweating like a pig so he can't get the guide clamps to stick every time he gets them on they just slip off. takes some time but the first one is in place. he gets out the needle – fuck that looks big, he gets out the ring – fuck that looks big. i close my eyes and he does his thing. the sweat doesn't help him but i can feel the needle going in and in and in and in – suddenly my nipple seems to be the size of a redwood tree. he is muttering and in my experience that is never a good thing. and then the pop – imagine the sound of taking a bite out of a ripe apple or peach and that is the sort of sound you get when your nipple is punctured by a needle. ring inserted. first nipple done.
i had to get up and walk around take some deep breaths to prepare myself for the next one. he took the opportunity to wipe down the chair that looked as if it had been hosed down in fatman sweat.

let's do nipple do.
see above.
pierced nipples.
lots of instructions of how to look after them.

not so happy a few months later when lying the bath the last ring finally floated out of the scabby nipple. no matter what i did to look after them the nipples became a magnet for everything to bang into them. carrying some boxes? the rings would catch. go to the gym, a weight would land on them. stumble into something and nipples would take the brunt of it.
those poor old nipples were not going to get any rest and the rings were destined to come out. shame really as they looked really neat.

what i did learn from it all is that generally when people tell you it isn't going to hurt they are lying. when they tell you the endorphin kick is going to be great they are lying, either that or i missed it because i ended up sleeping.

in the end the piercing turned out to be the last body modification i had. perhaps it is time to have some more?