Tuesday, October 31, 2006


See?....there's my lad, first thing this morning (getting ready for school) admiring - not under duress I might add - this fantastically crafted homage to Nerd-dom.

May I draw your attention to those ruins in the foreground, lovingly carved from polystyrene with a stanley knife, and exquisitally dry-brushed (yeah that's a Nerd term...too complicated to explain to you Norms). Look at that detail....phwoaarrr

Ahhhh...a masterpiece. I'm almost tempted to abandon the writing career, march on down to Games Workshop and offer myself to them as a Nerd-for-hire.


I've got some work to do on novel number 2. I'm lunching with my editor tomorrow and he'll want to discuss the edits I plan to do....and more importantly, what I've got lined up for book 3. I really need to stop stroking my battlefield and go and do some desk-time.

And no, he's really not going to want to look at the thirty-three other pictures I've taken of it. Must...resist...urge...to...bring...digicam...along to the meeting.

Monday, October 30, 2006


It was half term break last week. I wanted to find an activity that my lad and I could do together - you know - a little project that would bring us closer together...where we'd end the week surveying our handiwork whilst doing high fives and cracking open a couple of beers. (well okay, diet coke...he's 8)

I did some thinking. He's not really into much other than the Xbox, watching tv, playing some games on the PC...oh and I bought a copy of 'Space Hulk' off ebay some months back. He plays with the space marines, occasionally.

(By the way...to the uninitiated, Space Hulk is a classic boardgame; a very pacey dice-n-figurines simulation of the ol' bug-u-like aliens in dark scifi corridors experience.)


So I thought, maybe I can get him sucked into the Games Workshop habit. A trip down there later, and we had a squad of orcs, some more marines and a few paints. And he's off and running, doing a not-too-bad job of painting the little fellas up.

Come half term. I thought, 'I know...we could make a little battlefield together.' That was the plan. It would be me and him, embarking on a craft project together. Nothing too spectacular, just a sheet of plywood, some glue, some of that sprinkly-on grass stuff. After all I wasn't sure he would take to it, didn't want to spend too much, didn't want to frighten him off with too big a commitment.

That was the plan.

Thursday night...or should I say friday morning....3.30am to be precise - I've turned his bedroom into a workshop, I've spent about £100 on nerd-tools and supplies, and I'm knee deep in insulation foam granules, glue, paint, sprinkle-on-grass up to the elbows, paint smeared across my face; basically it's that scene in Close Encounters where Richard Dreyfuss's character is building a model of 'Devils Tower' in his sitting room. My lad's bailed out on me two days previous and I'm all alone, getting a little too obsessed with the fine details, wife's gone to bed, my lad's having to sleep in the spare bedroom, and I'm there (accompanied by the first chatterings of the dawn chorus birds)...cackling to myself, marching a little army of orcs up a hill towards a beautifully crafted defensive position manned by a Terminator squad of Imperial marines, armed with bolters and power swords.

I remember that. Then I remember being awoken just after 10am by the wife. I never did manage to make it to bed - there was a small puddle of sleep-drool amongst the polystyrene ruins in the corner of our.....what am I saying?...my battlefield.

Point is, the father-son project kind of went a little off-piste. I'm seeing the warning signs of all embracing nerd-dom, (like the time I bought the Federation costume for....ah, no forget that.)

But hey, it's finished. It's done. It looks good and I'm hoping my lad will get some fun out of it.

But it's not finished, is it? There's that bit in the corner could use a few more boulders...

I....uhh....I have...to....go....now....

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I suspect everyone's seen this impassioned plea by Fox in support of the Maryland Democratic candidate, and the pro-stance on stem cell research. It was hard to watch. Painful.

I grew up on the Back to The Future films, as a kid he was one of my idols. I was surprised at how much it hurt to see him like that. It's not like we were buddies or anything, it's not like he's family; but still it was hard.

I think perhaps because we was so cool...once upon a time, to see this disease bite into him so visibly....sheeeesh. So, anyway, then we get the comeback from US shock-jock Rush Limbaugh that it was an act, exaggerated...that or he'd deliberately not taken his medication so that the symptoms would be that much more noticable when he did his bit to camera. I felt was pretty damned low.

But...I suppose, there's the counter argument, that if you enter the political arena, you're fair game. Arguably he might have over-acted, or deliberately 'forgotten' to take his meds. I think if I want to be reasonably bipartisan about this....I have to accept it's a possibility.

Anyway, Michael offered his response to that. Check it out...


You know what? I had a residual warm spot for the guy before all this blew up...a hang over I suppose, from my teen years. Well, after seeing all of this, I can now say I greatly respect the fella. And I'm further angered - and disturbed - at how mainstream US politics has drifted off somewhere strange and become dictated by oddball, theologically-influenced cul-de-sac issues.

This is the 21st century for crissakes. I simply find it unbelievable that religious sensibilities are defining the boundaries of future medicine.

But hey...don't listen to me jibbering away, make sure you hit that link above, and listen to a guy who's about a thousand times more eloquent than me on this subject, despite....being handicapped by Parkinsons.

Monday, October 23, 2006

UNDER THE EAGLE....photoshop fun

A movie poster I mocked up for Simon some years back. Can you work out which actors faces were used for Cato and Macro? Bloody obvious really....and shame on anyone who gets it wrong.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


This 'ere new blog allows the easy posting of piccies. Splendid - sort of opens up a whole new world of mischief for me.

Okay then...

...the stunningly attractive fella on the left here, is moi. You can think of me as Captain Picard's younger, slimmer, and generally sexier, non-Federation brother.

Alright already, I confess. I used a little Photoshop.
I had to airbrush out the full head of hair and add a few wrinkles, because, frankly, I was looking just too damn good.

(I was a little concerned transient readers might think I used a scan of some gorgeous catalog model to pass off as myself.)

Okay, sod it. I look like this. Alright? Not great, I know, but passable. Anyway, I'm a writer fer gawd's sake - I'm not going to be modelling thongs anytime soon. So look, I'll be sure to post piccies in my future posts. Should be fun.

*makes evil little chuckling sounds*

iBLOG let me down...so here's a brand new blog


After eight dutiful months of making regular, incredibly witty, compelling blog posts, building up a huge worldwide audience of regular readers, who signed in daily to avidly devour my scribblings...ahem....iBlog have proven way too unreliable to use.

So now, back to scratch, a brand new blog. Oh well. Still, it looks very nice, and I'm sure we'll all get used to it.

Alrighty then. Anybody whose managed to follow the breadcrumb trail from the old blog to this new one, well done. The coffee's on, help yourself.

And hey, you...yes, you over there! That's right, you - the fella sitting at the computer; do me a favour, please, I'm beggin' ya!!! Reccomend this blog to two people you know, and hopefully I can recover some of that readership I spent the last bloody eight MONTHS BUILDING UP!!!!!

Ahem...sorry about that. Better out than in, s'pose.

Anyway, welcome dear reader. I make this solemn vow; I shall entertain you, intrigue you, maybe even squeeze a chortle - per chance a guffaw - out of you, every now and then. If you'll just come back to me. Okay?

Ach...enough grovelling already. I had you at 'sigh', didn't I?