Wednesday, October 27, 2004

It's really sad that John Peel has passed away. I will certainly miss him. Not so much because I listen to his show but what he represented. Someone who was there to bring new music to people who wouldn't otherwise hear it. Someone who had the enviable position of doing something they really loved and getting paid for it. Someone who showed that it is not how old you are but how old you think.
One story I heard that I try and stick to - John was asked what old records from his collection he likes to bring out and listen to. He replied that he didn't really have the time as there was so much new music to hear. Wise words - why settle for something you've already enjoyed? You don't get that time back again so you might as well pick up something fresh.
Such a down-to-earth honest guy. These days 65 seems too young to die but they have been 65 years well spent.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Had a pleasant chat with Ian Gibson and his equally pleasant promoter, Jane. He kindly gave me a sketch for my "villains" collection - Toadthrax The Black (from "The Chronicles of Genghis Grimtoad"):

No, I didn't know that character either but a villain is a villain.

I took a snapshot for the album and emailed Ian a copy later.

"Hi John,
Thanks for adding to an enjoyable day.
I forgot all about the pic and it was a day or so before I noticed the attachment!! Duh!!!? I blame it on all the new software I'm trying out - having rebuilt the computer and reloaded everything I am always dabbling with stuff I don't comprehend.
So it was a nice surprise to find the image of Jane and myself grinning at me from the screen!!
Not at our best at that time of the day - we both look shattered!
Hope you had a good day.

Getting that sort of reply just makes the world seem a nicer place.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


Comics Festival 2004 (London)

A good start to the day – when I get to the station I find my carefully planned train journey to Euston does not exist. Passing strange, as the online timetable system is normally so reliable. No changing at Vauxhall today as the train only stops there on Sundays. Sundays … and then I remember that I had clicked the “tomorrow” option last night without realising what the time was. I may think that it is Friday until I go to sleep but computers have a decidedly different view of this. I could have had an extra 15 minutes in bed.

But I’m ready for the day – big, fat Stephen Donaldson book to read on the slow stopper service to Waterloo. I should have taken my Spanish texts to catch up with but that was one of those ideas that only occurred to me half-way to the station. An after-thought, like the one in the kitchen about making sure I had enough cash on me for the day (a quick check reveals I only have 50p in my pocket).

Winnersh Triangle
Luckily I remembered something useful – putting the map to the Holiday Inn on my iPaq so I wouldn’t get lost. And I made sure it was fully charged. “Why on the iPaq”, I hear you ask. “Seems like a sledgehammer v walnut situation.” Well, the printer is out of ink and I couldn’t be bothered to sketch the map – I am an information warrior on the front line of technology. I make no truck with paper of pen!
“So why are you writing this on the train with a reporters pad and a black Nightline biro?” {Mumble, mumble} “Pardon?” So I don’t run the iPaq battery down…

So, plans for the day?

Hopefully the Jonathan Ross – Grant Morrison interview won’t be a disaster. I paid £5 up front just to see Ross as, to be honest, I have no real idea what Grant does. By now I’ve worked out that he is a writer and created or worked on Zenith. The rest is vague. Now Jonathan can’t make it, we’ll have a video tape of his questions for the Q&A session. Could work, could die a horrible and painful death. Will see tonight.

Need to track down the next volume of that lovely collection I picked up at Bristol, Darkham Vale. Beautiful artwork, interesting story.

Martins Heron, Ascot
Coffee break – even brought a flask. Such forethought.

Bonehead. I forgot to send my football predictions last night. Do you know how hard it is to enter web site addresses and complete instructions into one small text message to the wife? Not that my prediction will be correct anyway – Wolves aren’t going to win today.

Virginia Water
It’s raining. Great. Well, it is mid-October. What exactly was I expecting?

Egham, Staines, Feltham, Twickenham, Richmond, Clapham Junction, London Waterloo
Now where’s that Donaldson book…

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Having a pretty plain garden (mainly lawn, few bushes) in England, I'm not used to seeing anything colourful so was surprised to see this lovely little furry thing as I was leaving for work yesterday.

I'd never seen one of these before and dashed back in to get a camera so I could identify it later. On this website I found it was the caterpillar for a Pale Tussock Moth. Very disappointingly, the adult is pretty dull.

Ah well, never mind - at least I now know what the damn things are that keep bashing their heads into our windows at night!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The damned thing hasn't blown yet - stay tuned with the "Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam"

Friday, October 01, 2004

The new academic year is upon us and with it Freshers' Fayre. GARPS booked at table at the Fayre and managed to snare 40 new (and renewed) members. This year we are trying to make the society a proper social organisation with a range of activities outside normal gaming. Fingers crossed we will actually get something to happen - even a team to the Nationals!

Here are the lovely Wolves from Reading, proving that anyone can look good in chainmail.

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