Saturday, February 17, 2024

Put on your best pants, Major Tom

What the glitterati of mid-Somerset are wearing this season

Met my old friend Shelley for lunch on Friday at the Sheep and Penguin - I wore my finest pant and my Hong Kong Phooey T-shirt. 

I dress to impress.

It's rather akin to Vogue cover photos, where on the inside cover of the magazine they even tell you what perfume the model is wearing. ('Model' is a word that never looks right to me on the page - how about 'Moddle'?)

Hence knowing I have the McLaren of pants on and a highly sexy T-shirt - whilst never revealing said garments - is like wearing under armour before a rugby match. 

Like Clark Kent wearing his Superman outfit underneath his corporate suit.

I felt invincible!

These most fragrant of pants are my under armour, my scent, my most gussetted treasure.

My special occasion pant.

I can feel you gloating.


Damn I wish I'd bought more of the same.

I am also using beard oil to curl my magnificent whiskers (for I am the most pubic man in Wells). 

I can't wait for my whiskers to turn white as this will make me (even) more sexy.

I get the eye from the old ladies these days you see. My key demographic has changed.

Dementia Towers

Maybe we are all demented here. Dad forgot the surname (that's 'Last Name' to Millennials) of the guy opposite who's lived there for 50 years, and then forgot to put the carrots on.

It may just be tiredness.

I've often said I have dementia in a 10' radius. Come within my aura and you too will see; you will forget things which remained hitherto unforgettable. 

But, if we all have it (or early signs of it) where is this going and at what rate?

It could be like The League of Gentlemen, or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Although I see the latter Leatherface family walking their horrible dogs on The Bishop's Fields now and then, so they're already taken.

Like all these bridges, I shall cross them when they arrive 'neath my feet.

Food for thought though.

What I'm watching

Watching YouTube too much. But these are good things to subscribe to:

The Lincoln Project - Trump hates these guys. If you want any more reason, they make commercials to absolutely ruin him, often in answer to the ones his team have made. They are doing an invaluable service.
NRL - The greatest rugby tournament in the world is back next month. No kick-tennis here.
Vlad Vexler - London-based Russian philosopher and all-round intellectual giving his views on what's really going on with Putin and Russia, what their motivations and intentions are.
Netflix: biographical docs on Orson Welles, Quincy Jones, David Geffen. All really good. 

Televisual Offal

The Masked Arsehole - filmed in RetardoVision for the freshly lobotomised. 80s one-hit wonders and drug-addled soapstars who no one can remember and when unmasked everyone goes "Oh no - it's them!" but actually they don't have a clue who it is, because they've long been erased from everyone's' collective brainage for evolutionary purposes.

You can tell the budget goes on the panel 'talent' rather than the singers.

Utter, utter, utter shite.

"Take it off! Take it off!" chant the masses: the type of people who clap and miss.

And then on BBC breakfast they're interviewing Tiffany. Now if you don't know who Tiffany is, she was a teen popstar in the 80s who performed at shopping malls (those large derelict structures in middle America) and drew huge crowds, and had a hit with "I think we're alone now." It turned out her mother had forced her to perform and in an act of rebellion she posed nude for Playboy. 

Now why did I remember that?

Anyway, there she was on The Masked Anus - 40 years on from her fame - and everyone is acting surprised to see her. The reason they're surprised is because they haven't a clue who she is. And then - THEN - she is being interviewed on BBC Breakfast on Saturday morning.

No one bloody cares!

It all goes to prove my theory that the human species has peaked a few generations ago and we are now on a fast rewind back to our primal bollock stage.

Remembering Pronouns

2 teacher friends have recently told me of separate incidents. 

One, where at the end of a long term they called a pupil by their previous female name - cue sharp intakes of breath from the rest of the class. Having known this pupil by this previous name for 3 years and then having to adopt their new chosen name, it was an understandable brain slip. I mean anyone who knows teachers appreciates how exhausted they are at the end of a term, right?

The second was in D&D and one child called a biological female 'her'. Cue more sharp intakes of breath. Bear in mind that last year 'she' was a 'they', and now wishes to be referred to as a 'he'. It's very difficult to keep up with all this and for most part take it seriously. Most of us don't want to offend and are happy to go along with it, but we all secretly know that he is blatantly a she.

My solution to teachers when they are trying to avoid splitting the class up into boys and girls and avoiding modern sensitivities is this: 

"Vaginas to the left - penises to the right."

Done.

And no one will get offended at that!

I have already invoiced the Department of Education 30 guineas for my consultation services.



Thursday, February 15, 2024

Sensible post about shirts

Sleep

Yes. That. 

Dream tons, which according to my sister and Robert Winston is a sign of good quality sleep. 

I'm certain bad quality sleep over the years contributed to my condition.

Nevertheless, I woke up this morning (thankfully) after erotic dreams about an old flatmate (female). 

My bedroom was like a scene from the Hangover movies.

Pillows everywhere except the bed, duvet halfway up the arse and books and iPhone on the floor. I'm glad I have the whole bed to myself or I'd be guilty of assault and battery.

Thankfully no ladyboys anywhere. 😬

Been really busy of late. Even putting together a complicated piece of flat-packed furniture (a wardrobe with drawers and doors) which took 3 hours (if Ikea is Lego this was the Technical Lego version) took it out of me. I was knackered: just slumped in a chair watching TV for the rest of the day.

I've also been prepping White Plume Mountain for DMing to kids this week in Pilton, organised by my friend Katy from Edspired Tutoring

Everything is still doable - but it's taking it out of me. It just serves to remind me that in no way would I be able to work full-time anymore. 

DMing for Kids

It's half term and for the last 2 days I've been DMing for a party of teenagers who went through the legendary White Plume Mountain - a bonkers funhouse dungeon from 1981, which I've mentioned numerous times in previous posts.

The first thing to say is they were really nice people. By the second day they were thinking more about strategy and working with each other rather than on the first day when they acted as individuals. 

I had to rejig their characters around as they were pretty under-optimised. But with that done and some general advice about spell combinations, they went from being at the edge of a TPK (Total Party Kill) to triumph but it was still enough of a challenge for them to be fully immersed in it all.

They enjoyed themselves (apparently), and I'll look forward to DMing them next time, but I have to ask myself -  in the voice of a corporate trainer from Basingstoke -  "What are my learnings?"

  1. Have a Session Zero. This would be a pre-game session on-line to flesh out the characters and discuss roles and strategies within the group, and to ensure they haven't done anything daft in the character generation.
  2. Insist on character generation being done old school - analogue. With DND Beyond, you can just click and print out a character sheet. That's okay, but when you generate a character level-by-level with dice and pencil and paper, you know the character far better. The high level characters generated had way too many abilities  - I likened it to making a choice in a restaurant with a menu that runs into pages. Just have 4-5 choices in any situation marked out - quickens the game and makes it far less frustrating for everybody.
  3. Run a lower-level adventure. Plenty of good one-shots to be had with a heavier role-playing element than WPM, and lower-level characters have fewer options - see menu analogy above.

Where's me pills??

In Wells one has to - apparently - give the Health Centre 5 days notice before the prescription is available in the pharmacy. In Kingston it was only 2.

I'm not quite used to this yet.

I will run out on Monday. I have picked them up earlier before, so I'm hoping they'll be there on Saturday morning. 

In fact, being a born worrier and now fixated on things like this (partly probably due to retirement and not having anything particularly to worry about, but mostly due to FTD) I think I'll call the practice to see if they can hurry it up.

Not having Sertraline for a day is...inadvisable. I may turn into Mr Hyde...and I don't want that.

Nor does anyone else.

Not finding solace in televisual delights

Amazon are now putting dreadful commercials into their programming every 12 minutes, unless you pay another £3 a month on top of your Prime subscription. 

Monsters.

Netflix are due to start the same scheme. I realise there was an actors' strike but there is very little decent programming on either at present. So little that they've even started pushing awful 70s and 80s sexploitation films onto the Prime platform. 

Rubbish.

So after watching an Orson Welles documentary, I then went back to my customary YouTube options - 
  1. Boxing
  2. What's Trump said now? 
  3. Dungeons and Dragons
  4. Other
So I went to other and started watching music clips, which I have neglected to do for too long. 

It was great. I began with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band then sublimed (as one does) onto Heatwave and 70s British Disco which often had a heavy West Indies influence. 





I always thought Heatwave was an American band. In fact the 2 lead singers were Americans but the keyboard player and main songwriter was a guy from Cleethorpes called Rod Temperton who'd had a job filleting fish. 


That's him on the keyboards.

Anyway, he eventually went on to work with Quincy Jones and wrote songs for Michael Jackson for Off The Wall and Thriller, and hit songs for other people throughout the 80s and 90s, 

Apparently (I'm quoting from the wonderful Gilles Peterson) after Lennon and McCartney Rod Temperton was commercially the most successful songwriter Britain has produced.

How cool is that?


Characters

Definition being distinct individuals who don't follow trends, are eccentric and amusing.

There appear to be fewer and fewer these days. Of my friends, David Bowles and Martin Duncan-Jones were characters. 

Of the people I admire, many can be defined as mavericks/characters: Zappa, Viv Stanshall, Ivor Cutler

When you needed raw sex-appeal to be a popstar

There don't seem to be any anymore in the pop world: just products. 

I don't have anything against them.

It's just that I don't have anything for them, either.

It's my belief that in an increasingly bland and homogenised world we desperately need some characters.

That's all.














Tuesday, February 6, 2024

5th dan Stupid

 D.I.Y. O.D.

 I can’t stop! It's like a disease.

Clearing stuff up, painting, sawing, painting again, cleaning, ironing, fixing, drilling, injecting, and buying more stuff. 

Too much stuff: Nerys's window sill replacements.

Then blasting Matt's alley and trimming Kate's bush; that's 2 jobs and a half.

From being almost catatonic in my inactivity I am now so restless I have to tidy or clean everything I see in front of me IMMEDIATELY.

It's driving Mum nuts, not that it affects her. And she wants it done because she can't stand mess. She just hates the thought of any 'upheaval'. 

They're all telling me to pace myself but I'm just on a mission. 

It won't last forever I tell them - just go with it while it's there.

Sorted Dad's music room and storage efforts, cleared the garage of shite, and the lock-up, bought more stuff to decorate, bought a new orthopaedic pillow because of my neck and shoulders aching - it's even affecting my thumbs now! 

Painted the crap half of my man cave and put those shelves up AND made the walls good.

A few plants and some books should do it.

4 or 5 (I forget) car-loads to the tip, and counting.

About to buy plants next. Btw - I have almost zero interior design skills, so I've Ikea'd the shit out of everything and borrowed Jacqui's colour-schemes. Perhaps making a little version of what I left behind in Kingston, possibly as a comfort thing?

I've found getting down to read quite difficult. I've read the paper but not really any of my D&D stuff, which I'm finding a little concerning.

Spammed Twice!

Got spammed the other day. I got a reply from Ted (HIMSELF!) of Nerd Immersion (unsurprisingly a D&D channel on YouTube). It even used his N logo and told me to speak to him on Telegram. So I made an account and he asked me how long I'd been playing, what I liked about his channel and told me I'd won a Sony Playstation. I was elated.

He then showed me some terrible pictures of a Sony Playstation in a carrier bag and said I'd only have to pay 40% of the shipping. 

Ah. I see. 

I sent a message to his actual email account and said I'd done so. He got quite angry with me then and said I'd no longer be receiving the gift and had insulted his generosity. 

It wasn't Ted at all!!!

Funny. But my initial excitement was enough to put my logic circuits offline. He nearly had me too.

I actually love spam. I really do. Here's one I got earlier which I replied to underneath. 



I know, I know; should have been 'shall", not 'will'.

Yes, I am wonderful.

D&D Update

Thursday D&D session was a dud. Katy came in early (for her) and brought an entire 2' square tray of sugary stuff. Caramel, chocolate Wombat poos, and other delights.

So while that was going on they were exploring the dungeon. Someone touched a skull which then animated as the ghost of a jester killed years ago having insulted the King. 

It was immune to virtually anything and DM's are told in the text to role-play it as a major annoyance. Well I ramped that up to 11 and played him in the style of Tony Clifton.



It went down really well (I saw Luke getting annoyed with me) as I insulted all their characters and started singing "I will survive" very loudly.

Then the sugar kicked in and everyone was so loud and laughing non-stop - I had to call a stop at 10pm as it was impossible to run anymore. We had slipped into the realm of Chaos.

So next week is massive: 4 big sessions of Dungeon Mastering and 2 sessions of playing in 5 days! 2 of them are going to be spent on my Wells group and 2 DMing for some teenagers in Pilton Working Men's Club - 2 x 5 hour sessions. 

I had to have a DBS check to make sure I'm not a paedo. Well I'm not. Okay? And the government agrees with me.

'I AIN'T NO PAEDO'. There's a t-shirt that needs printing.

Body Aches

Spine, neck and thumb pain - should get it checked out. Rolling a ball on my back over the knots of muscle by my shoulder blades, lying down on a neck pillow-thing to cure my neck problems, Yoga stretches (just some easy ones) and an orthopaedic pillow on its way. 

On the good side I’m losing weight…but sometimes my stomach seems to inflate. Bought powdered Huel - enough for 2 months. I know that once I stop taking it my weight will come back on a bit, but I drink about 3 of these things a week anyway. Much cheaper to buy the powder and make the drinks myself.

This bloke came up to me...

I was walking the dog (Tomos) the other day, and suddenly I could sense a face looking at me. I turned to look and there's a man almost running along side me staring at me. 

"Did you say something to me back there?"

Okay - he either wants a shag or a fight. And he doesn't look the fighting type. Especially with that idiotic hat.

"No!" I replied, incredulously.

"Oh." 

And off he walked to his silver Toyota Yaris. 

Who does things like that? Obviously he does.

Saw him at Waitrose today. Pointed him out. 

Bloody weirdos.

Project Little Ted

My favourite soft toy was Little Ted. I feel incredibly guilty as - like in Toy Story - I rejected him at a certain age and then he was packed away somewhere.

He was the best of the soft toys I had. I loved him. And I'm actually feeling proper, real, genuine guilt about how I've treated him.

It may be he died of a broken heart or he was given away to someone or thrown out. I need to find him to atone for my awfulness.

I'm going up to the attic now.

Wish me luck.