Thursday, 31 December 2009

The Big Attack

11.03 am that is the official time that history will record as the start of the following events. Midday they would note that it was too late to stop it from happening.
Two hours later, out in the Thames estuary the first official sighting was made.
At 2.14pm, the Prime minister appeared on our screens and delivered the warning to the country.
Forty four minutes later and the government was to have been evacuated.
The riots saw that they did not make it.
Five pm when commuters should of been flooding onto the streets, they instead fortified their offices and hid.
The army had their barracades in place by six and seven thousand soldiers would lay down their life over the course of the night.
By seven the ultimatum came: "You have one hour to hand over one billion dollars"
It took over an hour of debate from the emergency goverment before replying "We do not give into mad scientists"
As Night fell over the city, the first of the giant rubber monsters came.
He was called "Glowing Laser Eye Fiend" and starting mowing down the east end of London.
Big Ben didn't get a chance to strike midnight as it was decapitated by "High pitch screaming looks like a wasp type thing".
An hour later, "Big thing with big claws" came along and started ripping up Soho.
The people in Westminister cried for joy when the tanks arrived and then cried in despair as “Glowing laser eye fiend” turned them into a big blob of molten metal and flesh.
At 3.17 am the RAF sent in their best, by 3.23, they were sending in their second best and 3.45 anyone who could fly a plane was being scambled.
The Evil scientist reissued his demand for a second time, this time for two billion dollars and it only took the emergency cabinet a second to respond with "WE DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH MAD SCIENTISTS".
In the twilight hours, the Japanese arrived and in a back street near Trafalgar Square they began to assemble their secret weapon.
As dawn rose, “50ft Giant Ninja School Girl” was ready and racing to our aide.
“High pitch screaming looks like a wasp thing” was knocked out of the air by a single flying kick, tearing up the turf in Hyde park as it hit the ground.
“Glowing Laser Eye Fiend” put on a good chase for forty minutes across the south London boroughs, but thankfully was bought down by a Skillful thrown Shruiken.
“Big Thing With Big Claws”, didnt even put up a fight and lied down in the middle of Carnaby street like a cat caught with the cream.
 Sadly “50ft Giant Ninja School Girl” didn’t make it in time to stop the evil mad scientist escaping in his rocket, however England was safe once more.
As the nation sat down for elevenses, the country tuned into the radio and heard the new prime minister reitereate joyful and defiantly "We do not negotiate with mad scientists"

This was done as one of the tasks for the Leeds Writing Group. The task was 24 hours, 24 sentences. 

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

WordPress PlugIns that I actually use

The following is a list of plugins that I use on either my drawing , writing blogs, or blogs I have set up for other people.

updated  05/04/2010

Efficient Related Posts
This inserts at the end of your post, links to other posts on your site that are similar in content to the current one. Its not to bad at all, I would like a bit more customisation options but, out of all the ones I have tried, this seems to be the best.

Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin generates a XML sitemap and submits it to search engines. It has a wide range of options and does exactly what it says on the side of the tin. Handy to use in conjunction with google webmaster tools.


I only have this activated on my drawing site at the moment as that has been hit a few times by spam comment attacks. Again, It does what it says on the side of the tin, I have not had any spam comments since.


This allows you to set up 301 redirects on your site with ease, most recommended if you are planning to move from blogger to wordpress on the same domain.

Syntax Highlighter

Allows you to post code snippets within your blog. Handles a wide arrange of programming languages and seems to work well.

Easy Contact

Allows you, very easily to set up a contact form on either a page or post on a wordpress blog. A good few options of customisation

A Better Tag Cloud

Does exactly what it says. Offers a better tag cloud than the default one installed and offers a wide range of options.

Best thing about all of the above, is they will cost you nowt.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Right Ho, Jeeves

This is in fact the first P.G. Wodehouse book that I have read and I am pleased at last to be actually making a start in churning through the 90 odd books he wrote during his lifetime.

Right Ho, Jeeves is the sixth book in which Jeeves appear and I do not think I have missed anything by not starting at the beginning. Sometimes seeing a film or television version* of a story first can hinder reading the book and, I must admit I did have Hugh Laurie voice in my head whilst reading, but there are 'pleasant' differences between the two which distance them just far enough apart.

I've been thinking (and typing some false starts) how best to summarise the story whilst giving a spirit of the book and here is my effort.

The bulk of the story takes place at Brinkley Court and involves;
  • A man who is too timid to ask a women to marry him because he has spent to far much time with newts.
  • An urgent telegram: "Lay off the sausages, avoid the ham"
  • An Aunt who has lost the money needed to keep her magazine afloat from spending it all in the casino's in Cannes. 
  • A school prize giving.
  • A couple who are engaged but are not speaking to each other; which is over a double chin and a shark.
Then there is Bertie Woosters attempt to sort all these affair out which results in;
  • No one eating dinner and the french chef becoming suicidal.
  • Too  much gin and whiskey for the Newt man.
  • Engagements being swapped left right and centre.
  • The Aunt calling Bertie Attilla.
  • Chaffing from Bicycles.
Finally ending with Jeeves sorting it all out... Oh and there is a white mess jacket and some scarlet tights which I have missed from the above.

Most of the pleasure from reading the book has come from Bertie, who is the main MC, use of language. One of the things he does quite frequently through the book (I hope the rest of the books too)  is make these "you can have one but not the other" type statements which annoyingly, as is always the case when you are looking, I can not find an example of ( i will make sure I dog ear the page when I come across the next one")  but for your enjoyment; here are some other quotes from the book with Bertie describing some of the other characters:
  • You know how it is with some girls. They seem to take the stuffing right out of you. I mean to say, there is something about their personality that paralyses the vocal cords and reduces the contents of the brain to cauliflower.
  • In build and appearance, Tuppy somewhat resembles a bulldog, and his aspect now was that of one of these fine animals who has just been refused a slice of cake.
  • And as for Gussie Fink-Nottle, many an experienced undertaker would have been deceived by his appearance and started embalming him on sight.
  • It isn't often that Aunt Dahlia, lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.
 source wikiquotes

All in all an enjoyable read and I will be working my way through the rest of Wodehouse at very slow leisurely pace.

*Elements of Right Ho, Jeeves are in the episode "The Hunger Strike"

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Letter Home To Mammy

Just a quick one to say that a Christmas Eve Tall Tale from Tiberius called "A Letter Home to Mammy" is now up at the DAC - slightly early #fridayflash as I will be celebrating Cigarmus and will be in bed early awaiting  Santa Castro

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Last Receipt From Borders

I braved the crowds this morning to see If I could get any last minute bargains at Borders in Leeds. There really isn't that much left, just about six tables packed with books and judging by how busy Leeds has become this lunch, I am guessing probably very little now left.

Most of the titles left seemed to be romance novels, children's books and books by second rate comedians and ex soap stars. Dragging the rear were a few by authors which I think belong in the eighties.

Still, managed to pick up a copy of Richard II, script to the play Miss Julie(which I have seen several friends in several different stage versions of - sometimes too much of said friend) and also a book I remember doing at school called "I'm the King of the Castle" by Susan Hill; which coincidentally I happened to be talking about the fish scene to Mazz In Leeds the other day.

The rest of my selection was a bit random with novels set mainly in the Victorian period  in the hope I can get some ideas for future DAC stories.

Its a real shame that Borders is closing its doors. Between them and the nearby Waterstone's there was always a good bet that if one of them did not have a book you were looking for the other would. I think in general, I probably bought more reference books from Borders than anything else. It is also going to leave quite a blank space on the Brigatte and with several other shops displaying closing down signs,it is not looking to bright.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Art of War - Sun Tzu and King Ho Lu

Bit of a lazy post from myself, but I was trying to remember this legend for someone at the weekend and was telling it hopelessly wrong.  This appears in the introduction notes of the Giles translation. Full text can be found here

Ssu-ma Ch`ien gives the following biography of Sun Tzu:

Sun Tzu Wu was a native of the Ch`i State. His ART OF WAR brought him to the notice of Ho Lu, [2] King of Wu. Ho Lu said to him: "I have carefully perused your 13 chapters. May I submit your theory of managing soldiers to a slight test?"

Sun Tzu replied: "You may."

Ho Lu asked: "May the test be applied to women?"

The answer was again in the affirmative, so arrangements were made to bring 180 ladies out of the Palace. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, and placed one of the King's favorite concubines at the head of each. He then bade them all take spears in their hands, and addressed them thus: "I presume you know the difference between front and back, right hand and left hand?"

The girls replied: Yes.

Sun Tzu went on: "When I say "Eyes front," you must look straight ahead. When I say "Left turn," you must face towards your left hand. When I say "Right turn," you must face towards your right hand. When I say "About turn," you must face right round towards your back."

Again the girls assented. The words of command having been thus explained, he set up the halberds and battle-axes in order to begin the drill. Then, to the sound of drums, he gave the order "Right turn." But the girls only burst out laughing. Sun Tzu said: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame."

So he started drilling them again, and this time gave the order "Left turn," whereupon the girls once more burst into fits of laughter. Sun Tzu: "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers."

So saying, he ordered the leaders of the two companies to be beheaded. Now the king of Wu was watching the scene from the top of a raised pavilion; and when he saw that his favorite concubines were about to be executed, he was greatly alarmed and hurriedly sent down the following message: "We are now quite satisfied as to our general's ability to handle troops. If We are bereft of these two concubines, our meat and drink will lose their savor. It is our wish that they shall not be beheaded."

Sun Tzu replied: "Having once received His Majesty's commission to be the general of his forces, there are certain commands of His Majesty which, acting in that capacity, I am unable to accept."

Accordingly, he had the two leaders beheaded, and straightway installed the pair next in order as leaders in their place. When this had been done, the drum was sounded for the drill once more; and the girls went through all the evolutions, turning to the right or to the left, marching ahead or wheeling back, kneeling or standing, with perfect accuracy and precision, not venturing to utter a sound. Then Sun Tzu sent a messenger to the King saying: "Your soldiers, Sire, are now properly drilled and disciplined, and ready for your majesty's inspection. They can be put to any use that their sovereign may desire; bid them go through fire and water, and they will not disobey."

But the King replied: "Let our general cease drilling and return to camp. As for us, We have no wish to come down and inspect the troops."

Thereupon Sun Tzu said: "The King is only fond of words, and cannot translate them into deeds."

After that, Ho Lu saw that Sun Tzu was one who knew how to handle an army, and finally appointed him general. In the west, he defeated the Ch`u State and forced his way into Ying, the capital; to the north he put fear into the States of Ch`i and Chin, and spread his fame abroad amongst the feudal princes. And Sun Tzu shared in the might of the King.

Monday, 21 December 2009

How to downgrade your LinkedIn Account

This really pisses me off when companies make it hard for someone to cancel or downgrade a subscription or membership to a site.

These are the steps I took to downgrade my Linkedin account from a business account to a personal account.

1) Log into Linkedin
2) Click on Help *
3) Type in downgrade
4) This should bring up an article called "Downgrading your premium subscription" and in that article is the option to Cancel your account. Clicking on this will send an email request to customer services to cancel your account**

*When googling this, I noticed some people provide a direct link - this link has seemed to have changed  hence why I have included the steps.
**The first option is to change subscription type, you need to scroll down for the cancel option.

There is no reason why they can't have an option under settings or an option under account types. Notice how easy they make it for you to sign up. This is really shit business practice and people should not put up with it, especially considering the premium service offers no real benefits.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Grammar W'nker

The Grammar W*nker

This Monstrous fiend normally goes
by the name of Carol or Ben.

They insist you address them
in correct form,
or else they kick off
a most unpleasant storm.
They walk with their noses high in the air,
their eyes pointing down,
And God forbid, if you misuse a noun!

They've added Stephen Fry to their friends,
just so they look smart,
but sadly
they don't quite
understand the arts.
Contractions, conjunction , commas and case
are far better to them than an imaginary place.

Reading this verse, they have cried: "What could be worse!"

But I know their weak spot, and I am willing to share...
Its not punctuation or the wrong choice of their....

It can reduce them to tears, an emotional mess...
For its a Supermarket sign; "Ten items or less"

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Bookmarks - They are a bit pants.

This Thursday I intend to strike the first blow against the Grammar W*nker. For this historic occasion I required some sound effects.

There is an excellent resource for Creative Commons licensed sound effects called Freesound. 
I can never remember the name of this site and as such, I have it marked in my bookmarks and this is where the problem lies.

Opening up the bookmark menu, I have a few folders at the top - fodder left over from previous attempts to organise bookmarks logically. There is one folder called film and nope, the bookmark is not there.  I then have a massive long list of unsorted bookmarks e.g.. 

Famous Curves Index 
Untitled document

Finally after scrolling down and clicking on a few similar named sites I get to where I want to be.  At this point, I think it would be fair to argue that surely this is my lack of organising my bookmarks in the first place, and I am always one of the first to shout out a bad workmen blames his tools. In this case, I feel the mechanism is all wrong and what is the computer there for if not to make life easier.

Looking through my bookmarks in more detail, the vast majority of bookmarks I have are for 'one off references'. They are for things like the above famous curve index(I hate to disappoint you - its  geometry related) which I marked for inclusion in a post I wrote on drawing skeletons

They stay in the bookmark menu because its six steps to remove them* and most likely I will be referring to the content within them from another application such as Pages or Word.

There are then another chunk of bookmarks where I have been looking for things such as suppliers - sometimes quite specialised such as I have a long list of Roman Armour suppliers. These are lists, which why I don't use that often, I do like to have them easy accessible.

I am also an Archaeology student and have a plethora of archaeology and history related sites, some of which I need for the duration, others to serve the purpose of a paper - which really reminds me I need to get on finish my latest paper about Otzi the iceman and his tatoos

Next up I have a big mix and match of things which people have emailed me or I have come across which seemed funny, articles I will one day get around to reading and addresses and maps for places I have once been.

Finally the bookmarks which I use daily such as twitter, facebook etc. These all exist on the toolbar.

I know there are tags you can add to bookmarks , but this is cumbersome and retrieving tagged bookmarks is not efficient. I know you can also add folders when adding a bookmark - but as mentioned earlier I think the mechanism is all wrong.

How does this sound ?

Firstly when I open my browser I want to state why I am on the web (will do a future post of my thoughts on this, a profile if you like)  If I am catching up with friends etc , then I am pretty much going to be diving straight into facebook and twitter and my email.  If however, I am going on line to research for an archaeology paper I am most likely going to be starting off with the bookmarks I have, wikipedia if I have to and I don't want my search results to include shopping sites or amusing you tube videos to be distracted by.

The interface should change to reflect this, I am not talking dramatically and it should be easy to switch back and fourth between profiles(one click).  What this does mean that say I am in my archaeology profile, anything I bookmark now will be marked as such and pages I have already marked would automatically be at the top of the menu - sorted by frequency.

On a mouse over of the item in the menu, a quick preview would appear if i need to refresh my memory.

Say I was researching for something specific , such as in the case of the aforementioned Otzi the Iceman. What I would do then is the following (this would also work If I was looking to make a list of suppliers or wanting to collect some recipes)

From the bookmark Menu I would click 'Add Topic' and type in the word "Otzi".A big X button would appear on my screen and until I click that big X, everything I bookmark will be marked Archeology - Oetzi

On top of this, Say I am only after a reference I could right click on the screen, select 'Booknote' which would then allow me to draw a red circle around the part I wanted on screen. This would save a screenshot, link, section of the page  and display all such snippets on a single scrollable page accessed from the bookmark topic menu. Each snippet would have a big red cross on it so it could be deleted easily ( a history of deleted snippets just in case)

As a Buffer , say I came across a fantastic tutorial on photography whilst in my archeological profile and I don't want to move focus from my reasearch, I could right click and choose "Bookmark under another profile" and this would save that site under the top level for my photography profile.

That's my two pence

*I'm refering to Mozzilla Browser

Monday, 14 December 2009

Dead Adventurer Statistics, Friday Flash and a question.

I was going to start this post off with a pretty graph, but numbers is really p*ssing me off so instead, for your enjoyment is a picture of Virna Lisi showing a textbook example of 'the Dangle'. More examples of this highly unappreciated pose can be found at Film Noir Photos

Now onto the statistics. I have pulled this together as I'm debating which three stories to submit for the fridayflash anthology and, well Im a bit of sucker for numbers.

The Stories I am condisdering submitting are the following:

"An Unsent Letter from a Tommy"
"The Backstreet Berlin brawl"

and then im torn between

"Et Tu Brute?"
"Break Creek"

I would appreciate input on which of those two to choose, please drop us a comment.

Now onto the statistics; I am looking at  the period of 2nd October to December 10th 2009 and the ten stories I submitted in that time.

I have had 757 Visits in Total from 14 different countries. The bulk of my traffic comes from the United Kingdom, United States,  Germany and then Canada *

The Most popular story by number of Visitors is Tiberius in "The BackStreet Brawl" with 114 visits and my most commented story is "E Tu Brute?" with 22 comments.  This story also has the highest visitor/comment ratio at 36.07 %

On average it appears that I get 76 reads per a story and an average of 14 comments. I can expect roughly one in five visitors to leave a comment.

The Lowest visited story with 36 visits was Tiberius in "The Most Blasted Blizzard"  and the lowest commented: Tiberius again in "The Dabble With The Occult" with only 4 comments

Here is the complete table
Day 8
The Backstreet Berlin Brawl
The Last Page of Henry Lambertons Journal
The Dabble with the Occult
Break Creek
An Unsent Letter From a Tommy
The Most Blasted Blizzard
A Cocktale
E Tu Brute?

As mentioned I'm curious to what people think about Break Creek Vs E Tu Brute so please leave a comment. I am also curious to see how these figures compare to other fridayflashers - I've shown you mine now you show me yours ;-)

* also on my site appears two non fridayflash stories, Mount Norfolk and The Despicable Beast of Marrakesh which were not excluded from the country figures

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Foreign Looking Fellow - First singalong #fridayflash

A nod to the old Music Hall Songs in this Tall Tale of Tiberius O'Donnell entitled "The Foreign Looking Fellow"

If you want to sing along,

Two Lovely Black Eyes

Where Did You Get That Hat?

The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo

image courtesy of NLS "Word on the Street"

New Drawing Up on

This time of my left ear. Just as an experiement I am linking this image from the post to see if that makes any difference to it appearing in search results.

Following on from my crap left over from blogger post is the labels tag has now dissapeared from google, along with all my images! there still some cached under 2009 which I have now asked to be removed.

Traffic is down a fair bit due to the images dissapearing from search results, but on the plus side, this does give us a opportunity to see if linking images increases their search position.

You can see the original post for this image here

Thursday, 10 December 2009

How to download youtube videos

I have been searching the web looking for a youtube for audio (not really much joy yet any recomendations ?) and the search results have been littered with

Convert Youtube to MP3
Download youtube videos for free
Simple App for Saving youtube

etc, etc

Which reminds of a very simple way to download youtube videos which I thought I would post up here to save you having to hand over email address to the spam masters , installing adware or handing over credit card details.

You need to be using safari to do this.

Open Up Safari
Go to youtube and find the video you want to download
Press Command - Option A (or open the activity window from the window menu)
In the activity window scroll down to what will be the largest file and double click to download it.

To play it in quicktime or to convert it, use something like

Mortus Illumina VFX update 2.

To the cast and crew of the chapel shoot ,remember the fourth day of filming when we did the evil sequence ?

We were armed with  all the latest low budget special FX know how ...

Including invisible thread , talcum powder

And of course the infamous burning bible which  was ignited from a car battery , took ages to light and you can see it action in the trailer here

It was a tough nights shooting and everyone chipped in 

All in all , a good all round effort from cast and crew, however the Visual FX guys looked at our evil sequence and laughed! Especially at the book bursting into flames and cried Rubbish! They then said give us your footage and hummed a bit and mmmmed a bit and did what ever VFX guys do and then came back with "This is how you do something bursting into flames"

All sequences are now going into the final render and sound design and scoring should be starting in January

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Bit of a waffle on flash fiction

I  posted this morning on the #fridayflash fiction part of my site my favorites from this week.  I've been thinking about what makes, in my mind a good piece of flash fiction.

I would like to stress the following before diving into this waffle; a lot of what I am saying here is about my own personal taste and it should be read as such. Who am I ? Just some Joe who also churns out some flash fiction at the DAC

I am not a fan of science fiction, so it is rare that I will read a sci-fi piece, however If I read an opening sentence that grabs us, regardless of genre I am more likely to read it through to the end and I think that is where some flash authors fall down. You have such a short space to fit the entire story in and that opening is so important.

A couple of examples of good openings from this weeks #FridayFlash round:

"Joel and Elijah knew they were in trouble even before they left for the bathroom."

This comes from John Wiswell story "The Balrog Looms"

From that we know the characters, we know the premise and we know the location.  I am now hooked in and want to know who these people are, why they think they are in trouble and what is going to happen

Another good example, this time from Shannon Esposito and her tale Messenger of Death

"Eric fumbled with the buttons on the arm rest of the stolen Nissan. A blast of humid night air hit him. It smelled like charred beef."

I used to drive an old battered and much loved 1992 Peugeot 405 and switching on the blowers would blast several years of dirt and breaking down plastic into the car, which on a hot night produced one hell of a smell. Reading this opening, I've got the atmosphere in my head, I know who the protagonist is and I have a hook into the story that the car is stolen.

Going back to where I think some authors fall down, is they try and cram too much irrelevant description into that opening

"The desk was made of dark wood with  a green leather surface with gold trim" - great!  a story about a desk.

I think if we all step back and be honest, flash fiction is not the platform for great original stories.  Effectively they are all " then he woke up and it was all a dream " or " and it turned out the person he was sitting next to was a ghost". BUT!!!! it is the place for original storytelling and what I think makes a good piece of flash fiction is the authors ability to steer the reader through the tale, keep them entertained and keep them interested to the end; Whether it be through misdirection, blanketing or just plain out lying!

A good example about steering the reader and misdirection can be found in this flash from Karen Schindler  "What a way to go" 

One of the other mistakes I think people make is concentrating too much on elements and detail which are not needed in the piece, rather than putting that focus into what we are all here for -  storytelling. To play devils advocate for a second , I do think some stories need more detail and I think they would of had been far better off as longer pieces rather than flash. Which is a shame as normally these stories, the author has had a cracking idea, but has lost it by trying to cram it into flash length. I've pulled my return to Break Creek as a potential fridayflash for this very reason (posting this short very soon btw).  There are very few authors who can cram entire worlds into a thousand worlds of less , Mazzz In Leeds is a fine example of an author who can.

Next up comes the ending and in all honesty, I think examples of bad endings are few and far between. There are sometimes disappointing endings  "It wasn't a ghost, but rather he suffered from a rare translucent skin condition" and I think this goes back to my previous points. If you don't grab the reader in that first second, you don't keep them entertained and you haven't focused on the art of storytelling; then it doesnt really matter if you have the greatest ending or the worst ending - your reader simply won't care.

A fine example of this week , which I think nicely demonstrates all three points I have made is 
The Mystery Writer Returns By Tim Vansant and an author that never disappoints in this regard is Laura Eno
So coming to the end of my waffle, there is just one final thing I would like to say which will sound familiar to those who have ever pursued artistic or photographic interests:

"First rule of composition is to break the rules of composition"

PS. Evil cats is always a winning subject.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Mortus Illumina VFX update

A quick update on the VFX work being done for my film Mortus Illumina

 Marys dead Husband rises from the ground which you can see in the original trailer here

and the the VFX guys come along; And this is what they do for a first Render

By the time of the second render its begining to look like this

By the third render , they are beginning to insert entire CGI generated shots into the sequence

I eagerly await the final renders

Friday, 4 December 2009

How to Write the How to, How to

1. Firstly, academics and the rest of the world might argue that it takes at least 10'000 hours to become an expert. They are wrong, you too can be an expert by simply googling the subject you have choosen for your blog and copying and pasting the results. If you really want to sound like you know what you are talking about, you can even use wikipedia.

Remember, you should spend at least a whole five minutes rewording what you have copied and pasted so that content is ORIGINAL. I often find copying the opening paragraph from one source and the second from another can speed this process up.

2. Next thing is KEYWORDS, these are vital so your blog appears high in the search engines above blogs that might be more informative than yours. You should try and bastardised the English language as much as possible to get those words into your posts. For example, lets say your choosen subject is Knitting and you are doing a post on Knitting needles; Here is the opening sentence from wikipedia

knitting needle or knitting pin is a tool in hand-knitting to produce knitted fabrics. They generally have a long shaft and taper at their end, but they are not nearly as sharp as sewing needles

That is not going to score high in the rankings at all,  try rephrasing it as follows

SEXY Knitting Needles of the SEO like Knitting Pins is a tool like your PENIS used in hand-knitting and CASINO's to produce knitted fabrics. They generally have a long shaft and tape at their end - perfect for MEETING SINGLE WOMEN, but they are not nearly as sharp as the VIAGRA Sewing needles.

3. Your parents and your teachers might have taught you that it is better to be a master at one trade than a 'Jack of All trades' - but how wrong were they ? Using the above two tips alone you can generate blog after blog about any subject you want. I run two hundred blogs which I update every day, that means I am an EXPERT in 200 subjects and I never even went to university!

4. I am now going to let you in on the three guaranteed secrets that will make your blog a real success.  I am not really, actually I just copied pasted three things at random from other blogs, but see what I did there by saying I was going to let you in on a secret ?

  1. Put a picture of someone with a pretty looking women or a person in an expensive car. Anything, as long as it says "sucess" on your site. No one has to know you are 37 live with your mum and a horrible failure in life, or that you are 17 and trying to raise money for college as you are too lazy to get a real job. 
  2. Use your 200 blogs to comment on your other blogs to generate instant traffic. You do not need to spend a lot of time on this; just copy paste the phrase "Great blog post, you really know about your subject" on all of them.  No one will ever notice that its the same person. This also works on twitter; set up as many twitter accounts as you can and invite people at random. Having a profile picture of a young sweedish girl with a cock in her mouth is a good idea. At every opportunity send out "Ive just read this great blog post" with a  link to your blog and hash it with as many keywords as you can, people really don't mind.
  3. Remember what I said about having two hundred blogs ? It would be crazy to think even with the copying pasting that I could populate that many blogs in one go. What I do is just substitue a few words here and there. Look how easily that knitting example is now about Neurosurgery
SEXY Surgery of the SEO like central nervous system is a discipline like your PENIS used in surgical intervention and CASINO's to operate on the brain. The brains generally have a long cerebal aneurysm - perfect for MEETING SINGLE WOMEN, but they are not nearly as sharp as the VIAGRA Cerebellum.

5. Occasionally people with slightly more brain cells than yourself will come along to your blog. THESE ARE THE TWO GUARANTEED methods that they won't pick up on the secrets I am telling you and will make you seem more of an expert.

  1. Choose a couple of people who through hard work and dedication have succedeed with great sucess in their fields and slip their names into your articles - this gives your posts a degree of authenticity and it also does npt hurt to occasionally drop in a celebrity or two now and then.
  2. Remember your target audience are as stupid as you. To stop them getting above their stations you need them to know that you are the all knowing. You can do this by feeding their ego's - remember to be subtle.

See how GREAT this sounds now ?

    SEXY Surgery done by Steve Jobs of the SEO like central nervous system is a discipline like your PENIS and that of Larry Pages  used in surgical intervention and CASINO's to operate on the brain. The brains generally have a long cerebal aneurysm - perfect for MEETING SINGLE WOMEN or indeed Lindsay Lohan, but they are not nearly as sharp as the VIAGRA Cerebellum, which I'm sure, you my reader understand because your are AWESOME.

6.  Your upbringing might have been a sad and lonely affair, but no one must find out. I've already mentioned about adding a successful picture to your blog, but also try and include bold statements in your posts and add throwaway comments of James Bond activites you dream of one day doing - but refer to them in the past tense.

7. The difference between the amateur and pro blogger, and by pro I mean have received at least one cheque from google, is the ability to keep the post clear and concise. One trick of the trade is to add a picture, for it is indeed true when they say it is worth a 1000 words. Think how much copy pasting that could save you- you are AWESOME!

8. Remember to use lists, everyone from prince to pauper loves a list. Lists make you AWESOME!!! You can never have enough lists.

9. People like gossip and even though you are writing a how to article, a little bit of slander or libel thown in can easily get you up the rankings.

Finally, remember to use a title that not only gives a clear indication of what your post is about but also contains plenty of keywords.

This is how our blog post on Brain Surgery has turned out


SEXY Surgery done by Steve Jobs of the SEO like central nervous system is a discipline like your PENIS and that of Larry Pages used in surgical intervention. Whilst I was out on my Jet ski I came up with this list, for you my AWESOME readers

  1. Casting on
  2. Casting off (or binding off)
  3. Decrease
  4. Garter stitch
  5. Increase
  6. Knit stitch
  7. Purl stitch
  8. Slip stitch
  9. Stocking stitch
  10. Yarn over

This is the most AUTHORITIVE list to do with brain surgery man can come up with, and it was made by me. I AM EXPERT and LEGION.  Every CASINO and hospital across the world needs a list like this to operate on the brain. Talking of brains I heard that Obama wears womens underwear and his long cerebal aneurysm is not that long - which does not help if you are MEETING SINGLE WOMEN or indeed Lindsay Lohan who I met whilst skydiving in Paris. Here is a diagram.

 I am very sharp and VIAGRA and CEREBELLUM can be found in most places of the world that have SEX and the ability to purchase THAI BRIDES.


Come back next week, when I will show you how you can recycle your old posts by simply changing the order. I will be showing you how you can take a post on the subject of Brain surgery and turn it into an article on Knitting.


by Guest Blogger Paul o'Shit , SEO Bollocker for Clog the Internet PLC.

E Tu Brute ?

My #fridayflash this week was bit of a last minute affair , I had drafted a sequel to Break Creek which came in at 1200 words, 200 more than the fridayflash limit. When I went back to edit the piece , instead of getting the word count down it actually went the other way and ended up being 1700 words - I expect it will be about 2000 words when I come to finish it off.

So, "E Tu Brute ?" was written in a rush yesterday and I'm actually quite pleased with the result. Originally I had the Duke being English, but I was struggling to make it work - when I changed the character to be French it fell into place.

I think that is because, I can't imagine a Victorian English gentlemen being a recluse over the arts - engineering and the sciences yes.

I admit its not the most original stories, but its one I might come back to with a longer piece - even a short film ...

You can read it here

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Handy source of Aristoricratic surnames

For the DAC  I am constantly needing to come up with aristocratic sounding surnames and the best resource I have found is the

United Kingdom peerage creations 1801 to 2009 List 

Which has such gems as Asquiths, Beaconsfields and Meacher. 





PS. In case you are wondering what the conversation is between the fella with the monocle and the chap with the binoculars;


Binoculars:How did you get on with that chorus-girl last night ?

Monocle:She Said I looked like her third husband

Binoculars:Shes been married three times ?

Monocle:No,only twice

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Even more Crap Left Over From Blogger to WordPress

Following on from more crap left over ... I am still getting a fair chunk of traffic from google cached pages of my site, which I imagine is annoying for the visitor, as all they will get is a list of broken links.

The Image on the left shows the top ten landing pages for November. Anything with a .html does not exist anymore.

After much searching around, I am trying out the google URL removal tool. Which you can find in Google webmaster tools under crawler access on a non obvious tab.

As a test, I am trying out both a URL and an entire directory. According to the help I also need to update my robots file as well. All in all my experience of google webmaster tools has been highly confusing and I am left currently at the moment with a pending status in the hands of google.

I guess its now a case of watch this space...

More drawings up on Smokeback

Should really think about coming up with a logo for my drawing site, but for now I will just recycle the Manikin picture.

I've just added a drawing of the Ossicles up  on

Seems the traffic is begining to pick up on that site again after dropping just shy of a thousand visits through Novemeber from the move from blogger to wordpress.

Another quick tidy up on My #fridayflash page

I have been editing a friends wedding video recently, so have not had much time to continue with learning php and messing around with
However, I have done a very quick tidy up on the fridayflash page which lists my favourite reads. Nothing drastic, just shifted the last ten and archive lists from out of the two columns and moved them below.

I may introduce some sorting and filtering of the archive when it gets bigger; I am, however curious in what I can do to treat the data more "equal" and what I mean by equal is a story from say week 22 should be as prevalent as a story from week 36.

I have the random selection in the corner, and by the nature of listing them alphabetically they are getting mixed up, but I believe there are more tricks out there. One of the faults I see with blogs is that information gets too easily buried and quite a few things I'm trying out on is ways of getting on a more even footing - hence the random order on the front page.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Beauty and the Beast

following on from approaching Leeds from the east
I attempted the same from the west this sunday gone, however the weather was not on my side and I cut short my walk which meant I did not get as many photos as I wanted.

Approaching from the west is a pleasant contrast to the previous walk and it was nice to see lots of people using the path and there was abundance of wildlife to be seen en route, including this fella.

Shortly after passing him was when the heavens began to open and instead of walking directly back along the canal path, I decided to cut off the corner and walked through the suburbs to get back to the centre on doing so I passed the former site of Leeds International Pool.

The Pool was built in the sixties and as local legend has it, the architect John Poulson who five years later would be up on corruption charges, didn't factor in the width of the pool lining, thus making the pool one inch too short for international competions.

There is a great write up and urban exploration photos up here from January 2008 and some more of my own photos from Sunday are in my THIS IS LEEDS set on flickr

I cant wait for it to be out

Includes Men of "Men of Harlech" and all your favourite Zulu chants.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Bit of a waffle on prose and screenwriting.

I have been doing a lot of writing this year, down to joining the Leeds Writing Group (I heartily recommend joining a writing group if you need a kick up the arse)  , #fridayflash and the fact that it is cheap to do (except for the many beers at the LWG!)

When I say cheap, I mean in comparison to my main passion which is film. Sadly work has been a bit short coming on what has been an expensive year and I haven't been able to make much progress on developing my next feature film Silva Superior due to lack of funds. 

My previous feature film Mortus Illumina (if you are reading this in the future , the link might be - why are you reading this post ?) which has been going through post production hell, should finally be seeing the light in 2010.  I mention this as I have another feature length script which is set in the same universe as MI which I have decided to short-story-with-chapters-ise ( I did try finding a verb to create a Novella but with no joy - thanks for @Britmic for the suggestion) to give myself a longer writing challenge than the DAC.

Re reading the script, it feels right for a novella and it feels like its going to be about 40'000 words (script is 101 pages) in length. The nice thing about having the script is all the story elements and arcs are already there , all I need to do is flesh out the script and convert it over.

I made bit of a start on it yesterday writing what effectively is going to be the prologue which in the script is defined at the end by "ROLL OPENING CREDITS:"

Talking to Mazz in Leeds last night, we started discussing the differences between screenwriting and story writing. Firstly there are the obvious ones such as the technical nature of scripts which requires the following of certain formatting rules and terminology, but the big one,  and feel free to disagree is that when writing a screenplay you should treat the audience stupid and keep it simple.  Whilst with prose, you treat your audience with respect.

Which when you think about it is correct, a screenplay is effectively a set of instructions which is down to the the director to execute, whilst with prose,  not only have you got to get the story across, you have also got to keep your reader entertained.

A bad script does not necessarily mean a bad film and vice versa.  There are many elements that go into a film and a vast array of talents and technicians all bring their own unique flavour to the pie that the director is cooking. However, writing prose on the other hand , the writer is alone and all they have to rely on is the words they put down.

I did do a quick google (very quick) and it seems a lot more novelists extend out into screenplays,  but I can't see any screenwriters turned novelists- are there any ?

Whilst mentioning differences so far, there is one thing that both forms have in common and that is a .... Wait for it - story and the creative process for that is like for like.  It does make me wonder though, how much the differences in discipline effect film adaptions of books, or is it irrelevant ?

As for my novella, I wouldn't hold your breath as it is going to be the first casualty to be sent to the back of the shelf when I am back working and able to  get on with Silva Superior.  But, when it does get finished (I have added a word progress meter to the sidebar), I may send it out to get my first few rejection letters or alternatively link it from the Mortus illumina site.

The Picture on this post is a still from some of the VFX work which is being done on MI at the moment and there are a couple more trailers up on youtube.

A Cocktale ...

My #fridayflash entitled "A Cocktale" is now up on the Dead Adventurers Site and you can read it by clicking on this hyperlink

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Mount Norfolk (13,016ft) Part IV

The Penultimate part is now up on the DAC and you can read it here , The image to the left I took myself when I was a helicopter ride in Revelstoke, British Columbia earlier this year which is partly where the idea of the Mount Norfolk story came from.

Gentlemens Spice

Just finished the draft for this weeks #fridayflash which is going to be another helping of Gentlemen's Spice on my  Dead Adventurers Club Site. The Gentlemen's spice section is my salute to Ronnie Barker who did a series of books in the late seventies and early eighties with titles such as Gentlemen's Relish and,  as pictured Sauce.

The Books are a collection of old saucy postcards, early erotic photographs and other paraphernalia packed full of vintage innuendoss and on top of that, a narration by Barker himself.  I think I own all the books; in probably the wrong order

Gentlemen's Relish
Books of Boudoir Beauties
Oh La La - The Ladies of Paris
Sugar and Spice

All the Characters in the Dead Adventurers Club exist in the same universe no matter what heading the stories are under. A More subtle nod to Barker, is the Duchess Bloemfontein who has a name check in Tiberius'd Dabble with The Occult and will also appear in this weeks Gentlemen Spice and no doubt future stories.

The Duchess Bloemfontein In Ronnie Barkers own words;"... served in Paris during the first world war and now serves in my local."

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Smokeback - New Drawings Up

Alas, poor Manikin I knew thee well ...

New Drawings up on my drawing blog including the Patella and Incus Bones.

Bit worried as my site no longer appears in google blog search, I can't find any reason why...

Monday, 23 November 2009

Leeds Victoria and Hunslet Mill

Went for a walk last sunday along the canal heading east into the city of Leeds. Firstly, boy does it stink and a lot of the tow paths were closed, so a fair chunk was spent walking around souless industrial estates.

Did however come across this place which from what I have been reading was the Victoria and Hunslet Mills.  The site is quite large and the black and white image below shows what it would of looked like in the fifties

I found the B&W image on the 28DaysLater site, which has a thread that gives a bit more about the history of the place and some inside photographs.   The Photographs I took up are up on my flickr account

Silent Hill The Film

The DVD has been sitting on my shelves for sometime, I have only briefly played a demo of the first video game (long time ago!) and had not heard much about the film and knew little about the franchise. From having watched the Resident Evil films, I was expecting Silent Hill to be a good old rubber monster fest which was what I was in the mood for this Saturday gone.

However, was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a cracking horror story in the film. Yes, its by no means the most original of stories, but sometimes all you need is a small American deserted town that had some over zealous religous nuts who have dammed themselves into purgatory, a good dollop of evil and demonic rules and the nightmare world of a little child. 

Onto the cast, I was surprised to see Sean Bean in this film who had a some what supporting role. The character really doesn't do much but is needed to help fill some gaps for the story - It does make me wonder if there is a longer version of the film in existence. I think Christophe Gans, the director has done a pretty fine job of packing in a lot of story elements into the two hours, but one criticism is, a couple of things feel rushed and have bits been skipped in the edit room I wonder ?

Of the rest of the cast, Jodelle Ferland does a fine act of being a creepy and demonic kid (aren't they all anyway?)  and Radha Mitchell does a fine job of carrying the film as the main protagonist. The real star (except for the monsters) is Laurie Holden as the "kick arse" Motorcycle cop.  This is definitely an actress who deserves more big screen time.

The limelight for the monsters is unashamedly stolen by the evil nurses. The picture does not do them justice, but truth be told I cannot be arsed  to walk over to the shelve, pick up the DVD, put it in my macbook , remind myself how to take screen caps on a mac and then resize it for the blog. Watch the film instead!  They are genuinely creepy and well choreographed as are the rest of the monsters in the film. I did feel that the Pyramid character could of been used a bit more, which again gets me wondering if there is a longer cut.

Someone behind the scenes who most definitely deserves a mention is Carole Spier, the production designer who has done a fantastic job on the film. Watching the making of (which is very good as a making of') she does not at all look like your normal production designer, who (this is from experience I might add) are normally to be found on the cheise lounge along with the art director eating grapes and drinking wine whilst occasionally waving their riding crop to order some beautiful young thing with whimsical instructions (we need a tree) which eventually gets filtered down to the crew - who then do all the work!.  She seems really hands on and passionate, which shows in the design and especially the consistency of within the film. It would be hard to argue that Silent Hil is not a very gorgeous looking film and one that makes you ponder for a second , where you would take it for a date.

All in all, Its not quite a rubber monster movie, nor is it a dark and intense horror.  Instead it has its place on the gentle green park inbetween which you and I  know has been built on an ancient indian burial ground.

Will I be rushing out to watch the sequel next year ? probably not. Will I be keeping an eye out for the sequel in the DVD bargan bin - yes , and if a longer director cut comes out I will be keeping and eye out for that too.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

MotorHead at the 02 Academy Leeds

You don't describe a Motorhead crowd, it is normally used as a simile and those of you who take an interest in the arts of crowdo'measurelology would not of been disappointed by the crowd last night. Conversations were rife about whoes head was who in the crowd shot on x dvd's, old battle stories were being swapped as season veterans rattled off lists of concerts venue. There was enough leather in the room, that any passing cows who happened to pass by and look through the window, would of thought they were looking into Dante's Inferno and then proceed back to their bretheren and started suicide cults.

It goes without saying the audience was only dressed in one colour - black.

The night began with the Amazonian (though all breasts in check) Girlschool opening, a little slow to get going in their first couple of numbers, but by the end of their set had laid down just that perfect balance of distorted guitar to wet the appetite in preparation for the main course of Umlaut.

Next up were the Damned who last time I saw them was at the Kentish Forum four years ago and my viewpoint was this . I was thinking about taking some front on grainy images this time, so I could flick between the two to create some sort of 3D captain sensible, which I m sure was the ambition of many a school child in the eighties.  The Dammed played an extremely tight set and were absolutely full of beans with Vanian being on top form.

Then onto the main act itself and if it was disappointment you were after, then you would of been disappointed as it got off to an explosive start.  My first reactions were how much I missed vinyl as the crisp studio remastered digital copies of the songs on my ipod have removed all those wonderful , slight off notes and guitar strings scratches and whilst the computers can make things nice and crisp, I prefer my motorhead raw and that it is exactly how it was served last night.

Do I need to mention it was loud ? Yes I do, I believe by asking if I need to mention it and then by mentioning it , I can add to the stress that it was loud - would you want your killed by death any other way, I think not.

Mikkey Dee's drum solo was made of the stuff that could make the world a better place and politicians should take note. I think it would be an understatement to say that the lad had some energy.

The highlight of course was hearing Ace of Spades as the devil intended it , though I must also say some of their new material they played was worth the price of the admission ticket alone.
All in all, everything you could of wanted from a motorhead gig with an added dollop of loudness and rawness.

Ps. To the dollop who standed behind us and threw his beer straight up instead of forward - your doing it wrong.

Friday, 20 November 2009


I came across this week, a site called icerocket which is a real time blog search engine. The nice thing about it, is you can also search the web,  twitter, myspace, newsources and images. It is also nicely laid out.

It also has a blog tracker tool, which I have added both of my blogs to and one of the pieces of information it gives you is your blog rank. I thought I would take a look at what was above and below my sites in the rankings.

First of all my Smokeback site has a ranking of #1645.

Above that is Mikes Money Making Blog  which looks like one of those sights that just scrapes how to make money articles - I can't even be arsed to read it.

Below my site is The Best PTC  which is a site just listing Pay to Click sites banners.

Moving onto  The Dead Adventurers Club  ,this has a rank of #4655

Above that is Tanto 84 , which I have no idea what it is about , looks like its in some sort of nordic language - though I am most likely wrong,

Below it is Chad and Tammys Adventures  Which is a blog from a couple of Triathletes from Victoria ,British Columbia

So what I have learnt from looking at my rankings ? absolutely sweet FA, I also notice that my Dead Adventurers Club site has jumped 647 positions in a day and my smokeback site, a mere 30. Well I do have a pretty looking graph.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Next Tall Tale...

Gave a read out of "The Most Blasted Blizzard" last night at the Leeds Writing Group. The story is another installment in the Tall Tales of Tiberius O'Donnell and is the first historical outing for Tiberius as the action takes place in The Great Blizzard of 1888

My Tiberius Voice was not on form last night - was a bit clunky but it got some laughs in the right places.  Ideally In my head I have a very posh public school voice that occasionally slips into a Irish twang and a drunken slur. The drunken slur, I have no problems doing.

A lot of these early tales are going to be more giving back-story and introduction to other characters in Tiberius world.  One of the things I am most pleased with "The Most Blasted Blizzard" is I finally got a mention of Tiberius pal Hans, who has been deleted from all three stories so far.

Might sound a bit odd, but I have a self imposed 1000 word-ish limit on the Tall Tales and Hans has been the main victim of cutting.

In "The  Despicable Beast of Marrakesh" Tiberius meets Hans for the first time and shares a cabin with him on the Steamer to Marrakesh, which I have made canon in the Tiberius universe.

In "The Backstreet Berlin Brawl", Before Tiberius starts telling the tale,  Hans was going to be mentioned in Tiberius thoughts about the Germans. Finally in "The Dabble with the Occult" I was going to have another attempt at introducing the character, but I swapped that out for the three rules Tiberius mother told him.

Hans is going to be a recurring character as much as Tiberius and his Zeppelins investments will be, so I am pleased to finally get a mention in at last. I will be posting "The Most Blasted Blizzard" this friday as part of #fridayflash so check out the DAC then.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Simple insert into mysql from html form via php example

*** Disclaimer if you think the internet is there to do all the work for you, then this post is not for you, go and enjoy a chat with your neighbour  ***

Just been spending a bit more time learning php and on the future recipe section for my site. I wanted a clean and simple INSERT INTO example which I can use as a basis for future development.

In the php book I am reading I have tons of examples and on the web, there are tons of examples - but!! A lot of them have lots of other bits and pieces cluttering them up. In good time, as I learn more I am sure it will begin to make sense. But, I think a lot of people who write tutorials forget who they are writing for. Putitng in ISSET() might be second nature for yourself, but if you do not explain why you are putting it there, then it is just confusion.

Also, Yes sometimes the most simple solutions are not the right solution, but for someone learning, stripping back to the essentials can be most beneficial so they can see clearly what is going on. Remember making mistakes is one of the best ways of learning.

Anyway, end of rant and onto my insert.

I have a php file for adding recipes to my database. It currently looks something like this and is tentatively named add.php

require_once 'funcLists.php';

<form action="transRecipe.php" method="POST">

<h1>Add Recipes</h1>

<p>Recipe Title
  <input type="text" size=50 name="recipeTitle" maxlength="255"  value="">

<p>Recipe Type
  <?php listRecipesTypes(); ?>   
<p>Quick Description<br>
    <textarea name="recipeQuick" rows="6" cols="63"></textarea>

<p>Select Ingredients</p>
    <?php listIngredients() ?>   

<input type="submit" type="submit" value="Add Recipe">   


I also have a second php file called transRecipes.php , which contains my INSERT INTO code and that looks like this.


require_once '../conn.php';

        $sql = "INSERT INTO recipe (rType,title,quick)
        echo $sql;
         echo "<br><br>";
        if (!mysql_query($sql))
          die('Error: ' . mysql_error());
        echo "Here is my bottom";


And here is a list of the important condsiderations
  1. In the form action part , there is the reference to the transRecipe.php file , which you need for it to work
  2. The $POST[...] parts in transRecipe refer to the names of the input controls on the Add.php file
  3. The echo parts are there to help me debug and allow us to concentrate on getting the SQL right in the INSERT statement

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

More Crap Left Over from moving from Blogger to Wordpress

Following on from my post Crap left over... , I noticed on google webmaster tools that my site had been rescanned and along with all the new paths on wordpress , there is still old paths appearing.

having another look around the server, I did notice an old index file, which was renamed index-old.html.  'am wondering if google is scanning this...


Related Posts with Thumbnails