Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Vile Mucus

    I am awash with the Vile Mucus.

    It flows in torrents from my nostrils like sexiness oozes from Johnny Depp in leather chaps atop a foam-bravin’ surfboard.

    February always catches me out this way.

    As Spring thrusts its first lustful glimmers from the drooping heads of sun-kissed snowdrops, so globules of snot roll and fornicate behind my eyes, racing for Winter’s finishing line with the presumptuous gung-ho of housewives clambering aboard inflatable dinghies to brave a lick of Johnny Depp before he abandons his surfboard and jets off to make another movie featuring endless scenes focussing solely on his beautifully formed cheekbones.

    Such glistenings, dribbles, and blasts of liquid nosegunge were foretold in late September’s berry-festooned days.

    Because mucus, then, was in evidence also.

    Only instead of Johnny Depp it was Lady Gaga, can-canning for Summer’s finishing line pursued by flocks of hot-blooded stallions grasping at her all-body condom rubber garment of immodesty.

    My mucus helps me to mark the major changes of the seasons.

    A big splash in late September, another flood of dissolved bogey husks in late Feb, with a token nod to the Gods of Nasal Splish & Squirt some time around Christmas if I’ve been stupid and gone out carol singing without a wooly hat.

    So bear with me, pity me.

    I am a walking Rorschach test a-splat upon every surface, every meal, every face...


Monday, February 23, 2015

The Selfie Stick Holder

    Dunno about you, but I think mankind is on the threshold of making a spectacular new breakthrough on a par with the Industrial Revolution, maybe even cheese.

    Now that the hive minds of our busy bee buzz have figured out the selfie stick, it’s only a matter of time before we conceive of the selfie stick holder.

    Wait a minute!


    I just did it!

    Yeah, yeah — so I totally GET the future right now!

    Selfie stick holders are just around the corner!

    Simply clip your pre-clipped phone n’ selfie stick combo to the convenience-bustin’ aluminium frame of your selfie stick holder — and shoot, shoot, shoot away.

    As hands-free solutions to shooting go, it beats a webcam operated drone-cum-Magnum by easily 5 years!

    Bonus: no more shots featuring Quasimodo-style shoulders!

    [Pauses to fix drink.]

    Ah.  I’ve just thought of a problem.

    Unless you fix your phone to some kind of timer, your selfie stick holder will need to come bundled with a special wireless remote control set.

    Without such an extra, you’d merely be swapping the shouldery Quasimodos for the blurriness of a melted Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food fishy.

    But, hey — who said anything about extra?

    Any wireless remote bundled with the fantastic new Selfie Stick Holder would constitute an essential.

    It would even have its own dedicated pocket in the rucksack-style leather Selfie Stick Holder bag.

    Hey, I don’t need telling about how the market works here.

    I’m merely creating products people will want to buy.


    The main selling points here are time and convenience.

    After all, it’s not too long ago that the whole business of taking photographs was a pain in the arse.

    1) No camera was smaller than a milk float.

    2) No roll of film allowed for more than 2 shots to be taken. (Okay, I exaggerate: it was 24 — but like baby turtles beaching up from a sea of sharks, none of those blurry, headless, aurora-bedazzled photos ever made the grade.)

    3) No horizon was complete without either GRANDMA or clothes with more fabric than the curtains of the London Palladium.

    4) No cropping, resizing, tinting, mailing or deleting: just an agonising week long wait culminating in an argument with the woman from Boots after she accidentally lost your negatives and processed a king size tube of Anusol.

    How did we survive?

    Sure, the Selfie Stick Holder will mean taking a few extra seconds to get the perfect shot, but think of all the hassle you’ll be saving thanks to NOT having a camera you can barely lift, NOT needing an anaconda reel of light-sensitive film, NOT being so limited in your photo taking opportunities that GRANDMA (and her dog) (and her budgie) (and her teeth) HAVE to be in every single shot, NOT having to wait so long, long, long, long, long  to see your holiday snaps that you might have aged beyond all recognition as if YOU were now a GRANDMA!

    After all, using the selfie stick already adds a few seconds to the (by now outmoded) business of taking a no-frills selfie, so why not go the extra mile on the post-39lb camera deal?

    If you’re so constrained by time that you feel the few extra seconds spent setting up your Selfie Stick Holder is a few extra seconds too far, then you always have the option of using your phone as a, like, phone, and calling someone who you discover from apps like PeepulNearMee and YoozaFuk? is within a few yards of you and your dinky new selfie-enhancing equipment rucksack, and saying, “hey, I’d really like to take a selfie with my selfie stick holder and my wireless remote control, but I’m a little short of the kind of time I might have if I merely wanted to look like Quasimodo or a melted Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food fishy, so could you give me a hand getting with getting the whole attractively colour-co-ordinated photo solution out of my rucksack and clipped together?”

    If you’re lucky, you might find someone who’ll reply, “Hey, why don’t I just take the bloody photo, you daft c*nt?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rodents = Unlizardy Wizardry

    I’m all in favour of calling a spade a spade — but why did everyone’s favourite point n’ click computer accessory ever get called a mouse?

    According to Geek Tech Legend, the phrase was coined by 60s IT pioneer Doug Englebart.

     Like he said of his invention, “it just looked like a mouse with a tail, and we all called it that.”

    However, on closer inspection of those pre-RollingStones lumps of computer wizardry, I’d say they looked more like rats.

    And that’s if we stick with the Broadly Rodent model of nomenclature.

    Mouse, Rat, Guinea Pig — yeah, I kind of get it.

    But surely these quasi-mammalian factotums face the wrong way round.

    Take a look at this Tasmanian Devil.

    (I know it’s technically a marsupial, but it’s way bigger than a mouse or a rat or a guinea pig, and exposes the limitations of the mammal analogy perfectly.)

    To use such a “mouse” you’d have to lay the palm of your hand on its shoulders, thereby exposing the blood vessels in your wrist to those nasty, snarly teeth.
    Worse still, to make anything happen, you’d be dependent on the subtle play of your fingertips about this fearsome creature’s ARSEHOLE.

    And to what effect?

    So it could flail its tail at the computer’s inner hardware and write to disk like a souped-up paintbrush?

    Level with me here, Mr Englebart: How’s that supposed to work?

    If I could re-run the 1960s (and believe me, when it comes to some of those Monkees lyrics, I’ve tried), I’d change mouse to chameleon.


    Now, your point n’ click device is facing the right way to see what it’s doing.

    And your fingertips are operating those hypermobile eyeballs rather than fingering any kind of reptilian crack.
    And instead of feebly flailing its tail, your polychromatic pointer is going




at all that data; pinning it down, picking it up, and moving it around — maybe even deleting it entirely.

    Think about it.  In the 1960s, no one had heard of ‘themes’ or ‘skins’ outside of toxic Ku Klux Klan literature.

    If the guys at Name That Tech Central had gone with ‘chameleon’ over ‘mouse’, maybe we’d have figured out much sooner how a world based on the “white heat of technology” could have been less beige.

    We might even have kept our desks free of berserk Killer Cats...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Stray Bugles

    Some say this is no writing blog.

    Some say it’s not even a blog at all.

    Still others say

    git mah haed outta this cupboard, ye fookin’ shite.  Jus’ cos ah’m drawin’ me pension and cannae wrap me kilt straight doesnae mean ye can abuse me this way.  At least have the common decency tae use proper nails instead o’ that vile smellin’ Superglue nonsense.  A man can choke on that stuff, yanno.  And if it’s comin’ out o’ mah sporran, don’t ye know how much moore expensive glue is than nails?  Hell, ye shoudae nailed me to the shed to save on heating.  That way, I wouldnae have to listen to your bairns wailin’ night and day.  And before ye ask, aye, ah’ve figured oot those bairns are werewolves, jus’ like that idle streak o’ piss you call a boyfriend.  Ah may have done some things ah regret during the Suez crisis — hell, ah still think about all those wee boats ah primed wi’ mines, and that long afternoon in the backstreets o’ Cairo with a 50% bottle o’ Tam McMooner and some German diplomat’s Labradors — but no way am ah gonna be the only pooor bastard harbourin’ a lycanthrope family on Skye.  Ah couldnae live with the shame...

    But hey, it takes all sorts...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stop Moving, Keep Grooving

    When everything grinds to a halt, it pays to take in information.

    The underside of your cue ball wherewithal rests on the baize just so, and although it may appear for a moment that you're not going anywhere, your momentarily visible vantage point would have passed you by as you rolled on towards kiss of red or black.

    To stop sometimes is not to be slack, taken aback, or evidence of any kind of lack.

    It is the stilled smack of undercusp on open baizement: cueless stillness of as-yet unpocketed amazement.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Beverley Sisters

At life’s end,
may the lips
that have kissed us
be mostly like
the Beverley Sisters’.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Hoodlumniati

    Life is like being on an operating table with tubes poking outta your ass.

    One minute, you have sixteen tubes in, and seven out; the next minute, only fourteen of the original In tubes remain, three more Outs have been added, and the hairy beast of a nurse responsible for switching things around is snorting crack from the two tubes she ripped from your raw anus.

    Other than that, my world is going great right now.

    Thing is, plenty of writing is getting done.

    Not all of it is fiction, but most of it bridges the gap between legible and tolerable, so I'm grateful for small mercies in spite of the fumes billowing over my ventilator.

    Or are those fumes now inside my ventilator?

    And why am I on this operating table in the first place?

    Last thing I remember, I needed a mid-sentence wazz and a small donut.

    Was I writing the blog post equivalent of a filler episode?

    Speak to me, Matron —  and pack inflating the bejesus out of my lungs with your donkey effect suction pump of a lust for all things zonkoid.


    Nah, I'm cutting my losses here.

    Like Whitman said, "never flog a dead horse when you have two dozen tubes poking from your butt and your caregiver is clearly a delinquent hoodlum."

Monday, February 2, 2015

Nuxy Cruxy Wordy F*cksy

    Right now, I feel like a stunt man, legs strung out in a gymnastic split-crotch stretch between the leathery backs of two rampaging rhinos.

    Up ahead, the canyon forks.

    One rhino will charge left, the other will thunder on to the right — and I must choose the direction of my imminent flick-flacking triple salchow to single rhino vertebrae safety.

    Such is life when you know to the marrow of your soul how badly Word sucks.

    It’s the word processing software equivalent of Satan’s most evil tumescent protuberance, wudda-wuddaed from rectum through to throat like a road drill wielded by a crack-crazed dentist.

    I’d rather use chalk and slate than write in Word — maybe even tattoo by hand on a T Rex’s eyeballs.




    Luckily, alternatives to Microsoft’s personal take on inflicting misery have presented themselves over the years.

    Of these, WordPerfect has been my favourite, closely followed by the tattoo deal (using shaved goats and the occasional Rex-esque giant turtle).

    Principally this is down to the Reveal Codes feature.

    For those of you yet to question precisely why it is that a cursor, when dropped onto a Word page, can transform into any font, style, size, colour or emoji with the randomness of a zillion-chimerae chromosome splice, WordPerfect’s Reveal Codes feature allows you to see exactly what you’re doing

    Everything is up front, making it the writing software equivalent of a buxom transsexual flasher to Bill Gates’ covert spy hidden under the desk who can’t even find his wristwatch-STROKE-walkietalkie, let alone operate its inflatable canoe feature.

    Call me a purist, but it matters to me whether FFS! wears its italic jacket over its bold jacket, or vice versa.

    Conversely, I am not interested in working with a menu that looks like you’re supposed to colour it in with crayons.

    That, my friends, is just piss.

    But the fork in the canyon looms, and I must pick sides.

    Windows — because it’s convenient?

    Or Linux — because it’s Beyond Good?

    If I somersault onto the Windows-bound rhino, I trust to a future of WordPerfectivity — albeit a-swill as a drunkard’s sick bucket with viruses, trojans, costly cosmetic updates, and an interface increasingly mirroring the goober intuitiveness of Apple’s glossy Wank Machinery.

    If I barrel roll left onto the Linux-bound rhino, WordPerfect is gone forever.

    (Tech note: yes, I know it’s possible to run WordPerfect on a virtual Windows machine from inside Linux, but in this scenario, that would be like barrel rolling onto the rhino on the left only to spend most of my time checking fluff in my navel rather than riding bareback towards the sunset with my arms outstretched √° la Full “pre-dive Tom Daley” Monty.)

    In every respect, LibreOffice Writer (the Linux answer to the Not Word Not Rex Possibly Sheep Now I Think Of It option) ticks all the WordPerfectly ease of use boxes — and, having studied the layout of the CLEARLY NOT A FUCKING TOY menu, I suspect large parts of its interface have been designed using Corel’s baby as a model — with the exception of a Reveal Codes function.

    It’s like I have the whole universe at my disposal — but want it in white instead of black.


    So if you’re eyeballing my imminent rhino leap stunt from a helicopter over the canyon, and you’ve figured solutions to either the “WordPerfect In ‘Nux” conundrum or the “Twist LibreOffice’s Coding Arm” hack, then can you lower down a rope ladder before I done go heck split my goddamn pants?