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23rd Nov, 2012

Infernicon

Is this thing still on?

When I used to update this thing, I posted a lot about my mum's illness.

When she passed away (four years ago now), I posted about my situation, and received an amazing amount of support from LJ friends, acquaintances and people I didn't actually know at all.

This is a thankyou to all those people, some of whom may still read this.

It's taken a while, but it's no less sincere for that.

- Dave

23rd Aug, 2011

Decepticon

Zombie Aid 2

I've written a follow-up to my previous blog entry about the activities of Zombie Aid and its organiser Carl Whiteley. 



This time, I'm analysing Carl Whiteley's responses to my investigation

(I've also included the full text of the e-mail exchange between Carl and myself, and a scan of the Manchester Evening News article about the 2010 Manchester Halloween Parade organised by Carl / Zombie Aid - which donated nothing to charity. So if you want the information unbiased by my opinions and commentary, it's available)



Please link, share, tweet or otherwise pass this information to anyone you feel would benefit or be interested - the more people who know about Zombie Aid and Carl's previous activities, the more people will be equipped to make their own minds up about dealing with them or donating to them in future. 

2nd Aug, 2011

Nigh

The Truth About Zombie Aid

I've been looking into the activities of a group called Zombie Aid, who organise 'charity zombie walks' throughout the UK - despite not being a registered charity.

In 2010 they raised nearly £2000 in donations, with "100% of donations going to charity" - NONE of that money ended up being given to any of the charities involved.

Learn more about Zombie Aid

(Yes, this was important enough to resurrect my journal for. Yes, I have contacted the relevant authorities - this is about public awareness, so please pass the link on to anyone you think would benefit from knowing more about Zombie Aid)

23rd Feb, 2010

Decepticon

Blogging



Hallo folks (assuming there's anyone still around, of course - I have been away for just a wee while, and a fair bit inconsistent before that...)

I'm sure most of you can figure out why I've been away for as long as I have, being as I documented quite a lot of the shit I was/have been/still am going through on here - I basically turned this LJ into a blog all about all the crap that was happening, all about dealing with my mum's illness (albeit interspersed with some more entertaining stuff), and then when my mum died I kinda lost the will to carry on updating.

At least with anything approaching regularity.

Well, I'm not going to pretend I'm anywhere close to mentally healthy yet - I'm still dealing with all the emotional fallout you'd probably expect (or might not, I suppose) - but I am feeling more like blogging regularly again. I miss moaning about petty things, and trying a bit too hard to be funny, and inadvertently winding people up a lot more than I anticipated...

But the flip side of that is that, while I do want to carry on posting, I don't really want to keep doing it here - I've got too many associations with using this place to document my mum's illness and death and everything, and it's all just a wee bit too personal (and still a bit too close, basically).

I'm not going to shut the doors on this place entirely (I still need an LJ so I can easily comment on other peoples', if nothing else!) but don't expect too many updates here.

Which means what I am here to do today is whore out my new blog at www.soylentdave.com

As I said above, I'm trying to return to regular posting again so there should be relatively frequent stuff going up there (twice a week is my initial goal, just to ease myself back into things). I do plan on rewriting some of my older stuff (just the things I thought were good, obviously), so that my better writing is - hopefully - all in one place. That goes for things I wrote here and stuff I used to have on bastardised, too (which I lost the domain for due to credit crunch related webhost collapse, incidentally). I also imagine I'll get very bored rewriting old stuff, so there won't be too much of that (and I've still got my .txt file full of ideas to work through...).

I'm just as desperate for attention as I ever was, so feel free to whore me to out to your friends, to people who used to read me but have understandably defriended me during my long hiatus etc. etc. (and of course please come over and comment away over there - you don't need to register or anything)

(and of course you can still call me a sell out/deserter/arsehole by commenting here, too)

6th Oct, 2009

Rage

iPhones


No, I'm not writing about them because they're current.

I'm writing about them because the incessant bloody advertising irritates the living fuck out of me.

I accept that 95% of most products is marketing, and that this goes double for Apple products1. What I'm not prepared to accept - actually that makes it sound like I'm willing to accept the whole 95% marketing thing, but I'm not, and every day that goes by without my bludgeoning a marketer to death fills me with sheer, unadulterated dismay.

But I digress.

What I'm absolutely not prepared to accept is an advert for a product that doesn't bastard well advertise the thing it's advertising. It's bad enough that iPhones were designed for the American market, and are therefore about 67 generations behind current European phone technology (3G you say? THREE? Surely no civilian phone can possibly require such advanced technology?!2 and so on) - it's to be expected that they're lacking things that the average European phone user would expect.

Things like, I don't know, being small enough to fit in a human's pocket3. A camera that's a bit more advanced that a daguerrotype4. The ability to set your own ringtones... and so on.

That's all beside my point really. The American market really is behind the European one, so that sort of thing is (probably) to be expected. And although pretending your product is innovative when it's practically fucking steam-powered is a bit bloody rich, that's not what I'm actually bitching about today (honest).

What is really fucking me off about the iPhone adverts isn't their refusal to issue a blanket statement about the obsolescence of their product (which, if I'm honest, is probably a bit unlikely), but the way the advert displays features the phone doesn't have.

Not only does every advert showcase features that are only available when using applications you have to purchase separately, but each advert - which tells us how quick and easy it is to do absolutely everything on an iPhone (even though it's four times the size of the average human hand and the calendar only goes up to 1783) also features small print telling us that the quick and easy process they've just demonstrated has had its 'sequence shortened'5.

So it's an advert for an imaginary product - promoting features that it doesn't have, and showcasing them (if you do go out and purchase them in addition to your prehistoric phone) by doing things that they cannot achieve.

Call me a traditionalist, but I tend to think that advertisements should be for things that actually exist, describing the things that they can actually do.

If I wanted to get product recommendations without any grounding in reality or connection to the real world whatsoever, I'd watch This Morning.

-
1The remaining minus 90% is equal parts 'quality' and originality.
2Yes I know they do a 3G one NOW. That's not the point is it? That's like, oh I don't know, releasing an mp3 player and then subsequently marketing one with the 'random play' button you forgot to include in the first bloody place as a fucking INNOVATIVE FEATURE.
3And we've sort of come to expect that subsequent models of the same phone won't be EVEN BIGGER than the original...
4A 2.0 megapixel camera in 2007? For fuck's sake. A whole 3.0 megapixels in 2009? Woo.
5Although of course, they only added this text after the Advertising Standards Authority made them.

27th Jul, 2009

Plasma

The Bounty Effect


Just watching TV earlier, and I'm fairly sure that the brand-name of 'Bounty' (the absorbent paper towel, not the gets-stuck-in-your-teeth-coconut-chocolate bar) changed to 'Plenty' in-between advertisement breaks.

I'm also pretty sure that one of the 'send money to us or the starving children get it' adverts started out asking for £2 a month and then suddenly started asking for £3 a month.

Conclusive evidence, I feel, that someone has travelled back in time and stepped on a butterfly or eaten some Opal Fruits or something, thus dramatically changing the entire timeline and forever altering the world as we know it.

(and certainly not evidence that I haven't been keeping up with brand-name changes)

You lot keep an eye out for further evidence of temporal anomalies, and I'll finish eating this Marathon.

14th Jul, 2009

Bollocks

The results are in



Zombie DaveAt the time of writing, the joint winners of yesterday's poll are 'Necrotising Fascitis' and 'Giant Squid Attack'.

I think the latter looks a bit more likely (I have a feeling I'd look a tad more disgusting if I had necrotising fascitis), but - alas - neither result is correct.

The right answer, provided only by pickled_jo (who may have had an unfair advantage, being Mancunian) was of course 'Zombie Outbreak'.

As you are probably aware2 (from the news and that), the dead walked through Manchester on Sunday and I ended up being part of the horde1.

While we tried to pretend that zombie-aid was an 'Equal rights for Zombies' march, it was actually in aid of Cancer Research, the Christie, Children in Need and Cash for Kids. Oh, and as an attempt to break the World Record for number of zombies in one place at one time.

Fresh blood (kindly donated)

We didn't do it...

Photogenic zombies

...but we only missed the record by 160, so we're trying again in October!

Part of the horde

The walk was excellent fun, particularly the 'attacking pedestrians', 'attacking buses' and 'attacking restaurant windows' parts4. Greater Manchester Police were very cool on the day, although I perhaps feel that allowing zombies a right to (relatively) peaceful protest is only going to exacerbate the whole situation.

More zombie pictures here and some fucking awesome ones (including a great one of me, scarletdemon & our friends) here.

(Oh, ok then - my bruises were actually from paintballing the day before at Al's Stag do. They did enhance my zombie make-up, though...)
-
1I got better.
2And frankly, if you missed something like 'the dead walking through Britain's second city3' then you really need to up your news intake, because that's really the sort of thing you need to keep abreast of
3Yes we are, Birmingham. No - we are. Just face facts.
4Oh, and a couple of taxis.

13th Jul, 2009

Sects

Back from the dead


You may also notice the Vitamin D deficiency evident in my spotty back. I managed to crop my arsecrack out, though I'd check to see if I used that the last time I updated after a long absence, but I have a worrying feeling that I may have and I really can't be arsed thinking of a different title.

Obviously I've been up to lots of things, and equally obviously loads of them are boring as shit so I won't bother to fill you in. Despite all the distractions, and all the shit I've had to deal with lately (and all the stuff that has been distracting without being shit, of course), I do miss updating my LJ regularly, and getting the feedback and input from you lot - and hopefully I'll be able to get back into the habit of updating at least semi-regularly.

I've got a .txt file full of post ideas that I need to use, for one thing. It'd be a shame to waste them.

But that's all beside the point of this entry; as the pictures scattered about the place show, I've recently received some rather impressive bruising. I'd like you lot to guess what caused it.

Answers in the form of a poll and/or a comment, as per usual, and I'll reveal the horrifying truth later on tonight, or tomorrow (thus splitting this post into two parts, but only because of audience participation and not just because I don't have any ideas for subsequent posts1)

This one was taken today. Note how they're spreading...(no arsecrack in this one either) Poll #1429136
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 48

Which freak occurence caused this hideous effect 'pon my once flawless physique?

View Answers
Leprosy
0 (0.0%)
Giant Squid attack
8 (16.7%)
Necrotising fascitis
10 (20.8%)
Zombie outbreak
2 (4.2%)
Haemophilia (thus undoubtedly proving my royal blood)
3 (6.2%)
Domestic abuse
12 (25.0%)
Bear baiting
1 (2.1%)
Weasel wrestling
1 (2.1%)
BDSM (not the driving school)
4 (8.3%)
Other (leave in comments)
7 (14.6%)


1I do really. Although some of it is that 'boring shit' I mentioned earlier. I'll jazz it up a bit. You won't notice.

20th Mar, 2009

Science!

A lengthly post



A recent conversation with scarletdemon has revealed something terrifying about her. The sort of thing that makes me think that maybe I'll start issuing questionnaires and intelligence tests to prospective girlfriends in future1. The sort of stupidity so astounding that at first I thought she really had to be joking.

The sort of thing that made me want to rip the piss out of her mercilessly and publically for the rest of her life once I realised she was in fact totally sincere.

Most of you have - I fucking hope - noticed the horrific spelling mistake in the title of this post. You'll have noticed that 'lengthly' isn't a real word, and is the sort of thing a tiny child, or perhaps a foreigner just coming to grips with the English language, would come up with as an attempt at communication.

(Although really it would have to be a very tiny child; like a premature baby, or a very foreign person; like someone raised in the depths of the Amazonian rainforest with no previous experience of Western culture or linguistics, who failed to notice the atrocious mess 'lengthly' would make of English grammar)

Or you'd have to be Scarlet. Now you might be forgiven for thinking that she simply made a typographical error in a recent post, and I am drawing undue attention to it. This, however, is not the case.

No - she not only typed out "[...] the lengthly explanation [...]", but then proceeded to insist that the abomination she'd created was in fact a real word, and that 'lengthy' "sounds like something a baby would say" - even when confronted with several dictionaries.

I think Scarlet is finally starting to come to terms with reality, at last (several days later) - although at the moment she's still hoping that she'll wake up to discover that the whole thing has been a dream (and that 'lengthly' is a real word). This separation from reality isn't helped by the sheer number of people who can't spell on the internet, so that Google returns far too many results for 'lengthly' than is entirely sensible for a non-word.

You see, this entry doesn't (just) serve to further embarrass her by publically highlighting a mistake she's been making for fifty years - really I'm just trying to cure her here, in the interests of science. Any amusement I may derive from writing this is purely coincidental and not to be taken into consideration.

In order to help her retain her slender grip on reality, answer the following unbiased poll so I can wave the results in her stupid face properly explain the error she has been making.

Poll #1368936 A lengthly poll
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: None, participants: 160

Is 'lengthly' a real word?

View Answers
No, of course it isn't. What kind of fool could possibly think it was?
149 (93.1%)
Yes. I am an idiot.
11 (6.9%)


Thankyou.

(Oh, and if you're up for some public humiliation of your own, feel free to point out any longstanding spelling mistakes, pronunciation errors etc. that you've been making, so that we can all have a good laugh at your expense increase our understanding of this important issue, in the interests of science)

1Let's hope she doesn't read too much into that bit.
Tags:

18th Mar, 2009

Nigh

Cat Absenteeism



What the fuck has been going on?

I turn my back for a few months and everyone on LJ starts talking shite1. Let's look at some of the hot topics on LJ that are in fact probably no longer hot but still pissed me off when I noticed people talking about them.

  • Doctor Who
    Or rather, the new one not being black, like this marks some sort of fucking watershed for the BBC or a dramatic setback for black people.

    It doesn't. It wouldn't have marked anything new or spectacular for black people if they had cast a black actor as Doctor Who, any more than if they started calling it Doctoré Whú2 and making him mexican would have meant a dramatic leap forward for hispanic folks.

    Casting a not-white person in a minor sci-fi TV series isn't a fucking leap forward for anything - aside from the fact that it doesn't bastard well matter what colour an actor is, or that it's been done before (half of the cast of Red Dwarf weren't white - although even in the 80s it was frankly more shocking that one of them was a Scouser), because it means bugger all.

    Britain's first black MP was a huge step towards equality. Our first Muslim Lord was another one. The fact that our national newsreaders are as varied in skintone as the general population is a bloody good indicator that we don't really care what colour people are on TV - the main character in a cult science fiction show, on the other hand?

    That's a landmark achievement for no-one.

    Seriously, Americans - get the fuck over yourselves. You might have a vast history of civil rights problems. You might have segregation in your recent history and slavery in your not too distant past. You might have TV series' that seem to think putting one member of every ethnicity on screen in a stereotyped role isn't racist.

    But you know what? Our country doesn't have any of that shit. The whole nature of immigration in the UK is different (we fucking begged most of the West Indian immigrants to move here, at a time when you were still segregating black people in the US (and limiting immigration from the Caribbean, no less)) - it's an entirely different dynamic.

    And we have this crazy idea over here that equal opportunities means what it actually says - not forcibly employing token races and genders so that we can create the appearance of equality3.

  • Twitter
    No-one cares. No-one wants to read about the minutiae of your life (I appreciate the irony of pointing this out on LJ, but there's a difference between writing about your boring as shit life4 and announcing "I'm eating some cheese."). No-one should have to put up with a friends page utterly devoid of content.

    Just fucking stop it. Writing down and broadcasting every tiny thought that crosses your mind is one step removed from shouting them out in the street.

    Go and do that instead. Nowhere near me.

  • St. Patrick's Day

    Americans (again) - you're not Irish. NO - you're not.

    For one thing, a real Irishman wouldn't wash his cock in that weak piss you call beer, no matter what fucking colour you dyed it first5.

    -
    1'Starts' might be a bit generous, but fuck you. It's hyperbole.
    2Doctoré Whú (along with his assistant Consuela, and his nemeses El Bastardos Dalekos) would be Charlie Brooker's idea, years ago, not mine.
    3And if you read that and decide that I've just said "racism and bigotry don't exist in the UK" please just fuck off.
    4You can stop doing that as well if you like, actually. I don't want to read that either.
    5The beer, not his cock.
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