Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Gen Con No More

Peter Adkison has closed down another Gen Con apparently. Having met Peter I can say having enough money to make you a rockstar doesn't mean you can relate to the likes who go to Gen Con.

I still count his Gen Con UK 2003 as my favourite though even though it pretty much was the deathknell for Gen Con UK for me (Gen Con UK is on, but I can never seem to make it even though it's always ridiculously southern venues are nearer to Leicester than Dundee). I was staying free at the Olympia Hilton in London, being paid £10 a pop in trade hall vouchers to run games people weren't turning up to, and because the venue was only 1/4 full the trade stalls were discounting their stuff like mad. The net result was I nearly had to pay excess baggage for all the swag I was carrying.

Which remind me I've been meaning to put up some of my old modules I wrote in 2001-2004 when quite frankly I should've been writing my thesis. I keep getting asked for these so it'll save a lot of time...

Glaive's Gambit - my first quasi-professionally published D&D scenario, and probably my favourite. A murder mystery that came at a time when Greyhawk scenarios weren't particularly cerebral, that was so popular I was encouraged to make it into a trilogy.

The Blazing Banner - the second part of my trilogy, which frankly shows too much of Babylon 5's influence.

There was also a prequel to The Blazing Banner I can't seem to find, written by the most scholarly Dr. Paul Looby who really should've gotten more credit prior to Part 3. I'll dig that and Part 3 out another time.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Haggis of Karma: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Updated with added crunchiness and accuracy

New from the makers of long rambling stories about how weird their day has been comes a new rambling story about how weird their day has been. And here it is. It is long. It rambles. Hopefully it makes you laugh. Living it certainly made me laugh.

We had snow here in Leicester finally. It's been a little chilly since Sunday and yesterday my car boot froze locked. Rather unhandily I unlocked it manually and managed to freeze it unlocked. Fortunately I was marking at home and was able to fix it eventually.

Anyroads - snow! Or more precisely slush and ice. See for yerself:-

Not exactly Siberia yet, but it was pretty chilly.

Today I had a UCAS day and decided to dress smart for my talk. I had recently purchased a very new and comfy set of trousers. Now gentle reader, you may be wondering the reason for this rather unnecessary detail in the tale. You may think that I have finally flipped my marbles but I assure you that this minor detail of the trousers will prove relevant in a minute.

Somehow today was going to be special I decided to go outside and check my mailbox before going to work. For the first time in a while there was a parcel sitting in my box. As I peered round the corner I wandered was this those CDs I had ordered nearly a month ago from the States? Nope - it was amusingly a tin of haggis mailed to me from my good pal and fellow intellectual Dr. Steve reminding me tomorrow it is Burn's Night. He proudly told me he had spent a great whopping 49p on the haggis and handily provided me the relevant verses of prose (along with humorous translation from broad Scot's into English) to recite whilst consuming said tinned haggis. For that I salute him and will need to mail him up a little surprise of my own... In the meantime the following photo should justify the P&P:-

I made my way, now one haggis richer, to work in the difficult weather. At the corner of the road I spied an old lady struggling through the worst of the ice at Stoneygate Road. I ended up helping her all the way to Avenue Road and got told that I would get my reward in heaven. However as I already had been given a random haggis I thought, to quote Haley Joe Osmond, Steve'd already "paid it forward".

Anyroads, a few paces on I discovered I'd not quite removed all the labels off my new trousers. As I did, I just thought it was amusing what the label said given the situation...

It seemed funny enough at the time. Perhaps I had mild hypothermia.

Going into work I finished off the last of my exam marking only to be given more marking to do. At the Uni you know you are working well when more people are giving you work to do. This is clearly a philosophy B. takes to heart given his attempts to do as little work as possible.

As to B. - he'd been behaving like a human being for nearly a week now. I was shocked - other than being inexplicably upset that my Christmas present of a jacket might be more expensive than his Christmas gifts he'd been relatively normal. We'd even for the first time managed to choose office hours without him screaming and flatly refusing to do any office hours as he is too busy verbally handing out marks to the students or driving back from Durham for his midday lunch break on a Monday (actually he did remind us not to put him down for Monday mornings because of his 2 hour commute on a Monday).

Anyroads, the conversation started innocently enough:-

B: "Hrmph. I'm doing 4 office hours and 2 hours of labs that last until 6:30pm on Thursday. Can I swap office hours with someone?"
A: "Sure... why don't we swap some of my hours on a Friday."
B: "Yes. No. No. No. I don't want to do any on Friday."
A: "Why?"
B: "That's when all my handins are - the students will pester me at the last minute. This way if they have any last minute handin questions they'll need to see me on Thursday evening. If they haven't done it by then they're stupid."
A: "Er... isn't that a little unprofessional? Shouldn't you help your students if they come to you?"
B: "@£&£ *&£^" and so on as we tried once again to point out his job is to help the students...

We've had this conversation endlessly - you can listen to an example of it here.

The upshot is B. thinks A. and I are there to answer all his module queries when he can't be arsed, but that he does not have to do the same for our module queries. Usually this involves him mentioning that he can't do it and backtracking to simply saying he won't do it.

This time revealed some interesting new tidbits. A while back B. had been on at the boss to raise our office support from 8 hours a week to 10 hours a week despite the fact he is the one who most vehemently objects to doing it. Today he proudly explained to us this was a cunning ploy to get us to request exactly the opposite as apparently we only want the opposite of what he wants.

Admittedly I had tried to get down to 6 hours/week due to the large volumes of lectures I had taken on, but his seriousness at admitting to wasting my time, A's time and both our bosses time with all the pointless discussion left me literally falling off my seat in laughter and saying, "So next time you express an opinion we should assume you mean the opposite? Or are you clever enough that it's a double negative, or a triple negative? Maybe we should flip a coin to decide what your opinion is in future." Or better yet - replace him with a magic 8-ball!

B. doesn't seem to like it when people laugh at him during his tantrums apparently, as this made him a little confused but I had to leave.

I was somewhat surprised when B. came back in from lunch and hung around outside the window listening to us to see if we were talking about him. Eventually it was time for me to go set up my talk (I left an hour early admittedly) and I opened the door, causing B. to nearly fall into the office. As I stepped into the corridor he walked in, sat down at the helpdesk and started loudly complaining about how pointless it was. He then proceeded, for no other apparent reason than it was his office hour, to call A. a word that implies he may not know who his father is, followed by numerous loud explitives.

Now, not-so-longtime readers of my blog will remember the Door Story. The door to our office is not so soundproof as it once was and by this point I was well down the corridor. Andy had also mentioned to B. this was a UCAS day and he should therefore try to be behave but nonetheless his childish swearing and namescalling was clearly audible throughout the corridor. I turned back, put my face against the door and pointed out to B. I could hear everything he was saying and that any passing students could too. For my sins I joined the "dubious family tree" aka Bastard club and received two fingers I'm fairly certain was meant to be impertinence and not information.

Suffice it to say there is no a notice outside our door saying if you are a student and are here to see B. you are out of luck on a Friday, or a Shrove Tuesday...

After that he managed to disturb me again with my marking by yelling at one of our lecturers that the mistakes in his course were not his fault and hanging up. I really feel sorry for the poor chaps on the other end of the phone some days...

Shaking my head at poor A. I walked off thinking about how B. puts me in mind of Ash, (thanks Jamalen) the psychotic android, from Alien - he's always saying he's busy collating, actually works against the team and is a pretty unpleasant and unhelpful individual with violent mood swings. He hasn't tried to choke me with a copy of our office porn yet - but I'm sure it's a matter of turn. Also I recall they dealt with Dallas with the business end of a flamethrower - there might be something in that.

Anyroads, trudging home in the cold to race around Leicester looking for a birthday present for my dad I reflected on my day, and how weird it had been.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Just What Is In A Name?

Charles Stuart Edmund Kerrigan (for real)

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle.)

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal)
Yellow Spaniel

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, and current street name)
Edmund London

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, last 3 letters of mom's maiden name)

6. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink).
Blue Max (should be Blue Pepsi Max, but Blue Pepsi Max sounds kinda rubbish for fighting crime)

7. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, any letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of you dads middle name, 1st letter of a siblings first name, last letter of your moms middle name)

8. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (father's middle name)
Joseph - nice and non-descript.

9. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one your pets)
The Black Sweep

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Flibble 2: The Revenge of the Wrath of the Return

I was bored yesterday, so I made a trailer for a movie I probably won't be bothered to make, but have had requests for:-

Actually I wanted to play around with Nero Vision and make sure I could create a movie that didn't have that "I made this on my home PC" type captions - I might try for something a little more spectacular next time.

(You may need to click view original post to see this)

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Tom Baker was back as the voice of BT texts from December to early January and no-one told me! I'd have texted my own landline if I'd known - alas! However there is now another website with Bakeroke. Maybe it's me but I think all the songs generated from texts are not that bad, it's worrying they sound better than any song sung by William Shatner!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday, Bloody Friday

I used to like invigilating... used to...

I should point out I've been invigilating for about 6 years now. It was a great way to earn money - you sat there, read a book or academic paper and two to three hours later you stood up, collected some papers, handed it to the person in charge and claimed £15 or so. Now it's part of my newly expanded repertoire of demonstrator duties and should've been quite straight forward. Alas here in Leicester everything must be 100 times more complicated...

During the 3 hours I managed a grand total of 60 pages in the novel I was reading, inconveniently hitting a funny part just in time for the end of the exam. I suspect I looked a might evil, trying to cackle silently while my students struggled to finish on time. This slow reading was because of many, many "problems", and it was relatively stressful.

Another of the staff let a student wander out to the loo on her own.
One of my 'bathroom escorts'* was apparently quite ill.
Some of my exam paperwork went mysteriously missing, so it turned out that I had more scripts to mark than I had candidates registered!
One of my students was so late for the exam we couldn't let him in under regulations.**

To be honest the only other bad things that could've happened on the lists were someone actually cheating and someone actually dying. I actually think the latter would be easier to deal with because the paperwork for reporting a cheat looked pretty formidable!

Even after the nightmare of collating the papers and taking care of the paperwork was over it took me the best part of the afternoon to get hold of the exam answers I'd written before Christmas. I'd deliberately destroyed any of my own copies- and unfortunately the person holding them in escrow for me was nowhere to be found.

* It's worth pointing out the whole 'bathroom escort' is probably the most awkward part of the invigilating gig. The first time I did it I realised I was stood in the gents not doing anything with a lot of people staring oddly at me. However back then bathroom breaks were pretty rare in exams.

** I did this once, though I at least had the unique distinction of being 24 hours late for the exam in my first year. I was there at the right time of day, simply the day after everyone else. Thankfully Dr. Gregor of Dundee was a very, very understanding man (as were the Exams office), and I ironically the rest of my year disliked me enough not to give me the answers. It did involve a 3 hour wait in the departmental office to ensure I did not go off and get some insider-tips.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Up here in my palatial mansion I've been listening to some more of Paul McGann's Dr. Who. The new stuff is premiering on BBC7 rather than going to CD, and is thus broadcast in 45 minutes rather than the old series style serials.

The first one Blood of the Daleks starts with a strange woman appearing in the Tardis, which is a bit unfortunate as that's exactly how this year's Christmas Special began. However it differs shortly after that as it turns out the northern-accent woman is Lucie Miller, a girl from Blackpool (shock horror - not London, or Manchester - the default setting for 'the north' in England). They then take a trip to a planet that isn't Earth for some dalek related schennanigans and get involved in a war between Daleks and a character I call Mini-Davros. In two parts it's an excellent listen - much punchier than some of the bloated dramas (cough, Minuet in Hell). Very good stuff.

I'm looking forward to this week's one already - imaginatively titled "The Horror of Glam Rock", a play on an old Tom Baker episode, the second one, currently on Listen Again, sounds really, really Douglas Adamsy:-

The Doctor and Lucie go glam when the TARDIS makes an unexpected landing in 1974. Slade, The Sweet and Suzi Quatro are Top of the Pops - and brother-and-sister duo The Tomorrow Twins will soon be joining them, if starmaking Svengali Arnold Korns has his way. But will their dreams turn to dust at a service station somewhere on the M62, besieged by a pack of alien monsters?

New Babylon 5

Huzzah - they've actually made new Babylon 5. And here's the evidence!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Marking Takes Its Toll

I'm back, but I'm marking at home for a while, but I need to stop as I'm getting a serious headache - this is how you begin to view the world after 4 hours of marking student papers.

Xmas Hols 3

When we last left I was on a sugar high from drinking several hot chocolates in rapid sensation.

For sheer variety I spent the afternoon of New Year's Eve in Lloyd's No. 1 with my brother and his new significant other. I drank a lot of hot chocolate as I was driving. Again.

In the evening Steve, Karen and I went to Jolly's, a dancey-type pub in Broughty Ferry. I inadvertently picked up a follower who seemed to insist on dancing into me in a not-so-suggestive way and at one point disturbed me by following me into the gents and provided plenty of amusement at my expense for my chums at the bells. This body is a curse, and this photo of Steve sums the experience up nicely...

And of course I simply tried to look as philosophical as possible all night:-

We went back to Steve's and thanks to his folks treated ourselves to the cinematic delights of "Sam" - a musical written back in days of yore and Monifieth High School by a commitee consisting of myself, Steve, the Mythical Man Hoppy and three of girls in our drama class. Actually implying myself or Steve had much say was probably going a bit far, and neither of us can write a tune to save our lives. One of the song-writing minstrels has gone on to success though, at least until the entire show hits YouTube soon.

This experience was probably most amusing for Karen however, as she'd never seen this video. We skipped the boring bits, so in fact we probably only watched about 10 minutes of video, even if it felt like two hours. After that an the New Year TV treat of Tales from the Crypt showed the BBC were once more pushing out all the stops for 2007.

When I finally got to bed I decided New Year's Day wasn't going to involve much action. I pretty much settled down to watch the new Sarah Jane Adventures, one of the billion spin-offs from Doctor Who. As Steve remarked it was just like Torchwood, but without the odd f-word. It was actually pretty good even if they had a bunk reason for writing out K9 (he's off closing a black-hole, could take years).

Other than that not a lot happened beyond mooching around, watching Pan's Labyrinth (an excellent Spanish film Six Foot Hobbit recommended I see) and the obligitary dinner at Ethiebeaton Farm that was my Xmas break. Then I returned to...

and I'm back in good old Leicester, still waiting on the bathroom, living room curtains and washing machine I reported on the 15th of December to be fixed. But that is as they say, another story...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

141 142/239 movies - I am sad!

SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own facebook account, paste this as a note. Then, put x's next to the films you've seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
(x) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
(x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 10

(x) The Princess Bride
(x) AnchorMan
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
(x) Saw
(x) Saw II
(x) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
( ) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 18

(x) Scream
(x) Scream 2
(x) Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
(x) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
(x) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 28

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
( ) Harry Potter 5
(x) Resident Evil 1
(x) Resident Evil 2
( ) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
( ) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 35

(x) Finding Nemo
(x) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
( ) The Grinch
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
( ) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total so far: 42

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
( ) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
Total so far: 48

( ) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
(x) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
(x) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total so far: 56

( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
(x) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
(x) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 60

( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
(x) Just Married
(x) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
(x) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
( ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 65

( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Seven
(x) Ocean's Eleven
( ) Ocean's Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
( ) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 69

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
(x) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 75

( ) Best Bet
( ) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 85

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
(x) Jeepers Creepers
(x) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
( ) The Little Mermaid
( ) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
(x) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 98

( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 98

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 105

( ) Baseketball
(x) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
(x) Highlander
(x) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 108

( ) The Jacket
(x) Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
(x) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 115

( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
(x) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
(x) Waterworld
Total so far: 121

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
(x) Mortal Kombat
(x) Wolf Creek
(x) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 127

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x)Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
(x) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
(x) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 135

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
(x) Animatrix
(x) Evil Dead
(x) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
( ) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
Total so far: 142

Monday, January 08, 2007

Xmas Hols 2

Christmas Day was spent opening prezzies and watching really bad TV. Boxing Day was pretty much the same - I stayed in and watched Casper the Friendly Ghost, which is actually quite good as it has Eric Idle in it.

That's the thing with Monifieth - over Christmas it becomes impossible to leave, and yet there's very little to actually do while you're trapped there. By the 27th I was going stir-crazy. I went to town to pay the Highlander Games and Grouchos Taxes but find a depressing lack of anything I am interested in buying. Oh, and happy 30th Birthday to Grouchos apparently.

The day after that was spent visiting the rellies near Ayr. Travelling to Adrossan and back with my dad was as always an experience in terror. The day after that was spent going avec Egor, Mare and Stevie to the Pizza Hut for buffet, to the bowling where I bowled really, really badly and then finally to sample the culinary delights of Visocchi's in the Ferry. What was truly special about this visit was Mrs. Visocchi gave me a free sample of their award winnning ice cream because she thought Gregor looked like a fishmonger from St. Andrews. I always knew there was something fishy about him...

Aside from that I seemed to spend a lot of time in the pub - the Kittiwake or the Counting House, Dundee's local Wetherspoon's, with Bradley and Kev where we blethered all evening and I got a sugar high from drinking several hot chocolates in rapid sensation.

Next: Will our beloved hero ever leave the pub? Also featuring molestation and humiliation at New Year.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Xmas Hols 1

So, let's flash back a couple of weeks and recap the whole holiday in...


After driving through the infernal mists that seemed to shroud the entire M1 I made it home by car. This meant by the morning of the 23rd I didn't really fit for much except watching Peep Show and Dead Zone on DVD.

On Christmas Eve however I slept in, but managed to do some literal last minute shopping. Fortunately all I needed by this point was a DVD of Shrek for Dad to go with his mulled wine and some toys for the dogs (given how rarely I see them I thought it best to spoil them). Those infernal mists however blanketed the entire town...

As is something of a tradition I went to the Kittywake in the evening with Gregor, Mare, Steve and Jenna. We bumped into other Monifieth High School survivors but curiously this year there were fewer of them. If we outcasts start to outnumber the cool kids things will get weird. Also the Kittywake called last orders at a ridiculously early time. We went back to Egor and Mare's palatial mansion before my folks showed up to drag Mare and myself to midnight mass.

I guess midnight mass sets up Christmas nicely on our family. It used to be optional but since I moved away I make the effort to go with my folks. It also means we typically open our presents around 2am and have a nice lie-in.

However I have size 12 and a bit feet, which means lowering the prayer stools in St. Bride's is a little difficult. For those of you not in the know prayer mats are things you lower down to kneel on to save wear and tear on your knees. Most churches etc. have them.

Anyroads as I'm gently trying to lower the mat around my freakishly large feet without dislocating my leg and popping it behind my neck my dad decides they're low enough for him to kneel on. This has the net effect of him crushing a rather painful toe-nail with his weight, and we Kerrigans are not exactly light on our feet. Then there's me desperately trying to attract his attention while not screaming out in church. I hear they frown on that.

My attempts to alert him to this minor problem were in vain until the rest of the row in church leap on the prayer stools as well.

Is our hero going to have to hop for the rest of his days? Find out in Part 2.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Holidays Are Going

Not much to report at this juncture other than that I've had a little time to catch up on my TV and DVD collection. My brother introduced me to Life on Mars, which is a most excellent show. Also, despite being aimed at an age group nearly 20 years my junior I thought The Sarah-Jane Adventures on New Year's Day were actually pretty good, even better than the Doctor Who special.

My dad was also introduced to Pirates of the Carribean. Despite inexplicably owning the film on DVD he waited until it was on BBC1 this Xmas to realise what everyone else on the planet realises: that this is a good film. He was also lucky in that I had Pirates 2 on my laptop, so we sat watching it on the big screen telly at midnight a few weeks back. Ironically I was dragged to a midnight showing of it when it was first on in the cinemas, and having got up around noon, not 7am, this time I actually thought it was a far better film on the second viewing.

I've done other things than sit watching TV and stuffing myself on mince pies, danish whirls and patriotic ice cream dishes, but a full debunk on my Xmas and New Year adventures will have to wait. It's almost time to put all the prezzies in the car and head back to the Bad Place. I don't start work until Tuesday, and plan on doing most of my marking at home anyroads, but I've learned it's always good to have a few days to climatise to Lesta before going back to work.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My New Year's Thought...

Yes, I look like this when I'm thinking apparently. More detailed detail to come soon.

Photoshopping by Steve. As usual. Sigh.