Thursday, February 15, 2024

Sensible post about shirts


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. 


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. 


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?


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.

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