One thing I don’t like is reading jokes. Gags on paper are never funny for me. Comedy literature is different, but reading ‘this fella went into a bar…’ never raises a smile. But I’m going to ignore my own rule with this post because there’s no other way of telling you the zombie joke. And … More Am I The Only One Who Thinks The Zombie Joke Is Funny?
Not a cover reveal. . . . Release date is looking like 2017 now.
Guides to foreign travel tend to fall into two camps: Rough Guide/Lonely Planet hipster real-life travel; and posh folk writing idyllic memoirs of unrealistically tranquil settings, sometimes accompanied by tame wildlife. Harry Whitewolf’s odyssey falls into a camp of its own. An autobiographical miasma of reportage, history lessons and ‘what to avoid’ advice you’ll never … More The Road To Purification – Harry Whitewolf
Ha! Fooled you. Clickbait, you see. It’s what the private sector is good at: discovering ever more devious ways of diverting you away from what you want to what it wants. But I’m not here to bore you with pinko-commie anti-capitalist ranting. I want to examine more closely the often-heard assertion that the private sector … More Why The Private Sector Is Better
I love the supernatural, I love the unexplained, the paranormal, a good mystery. In the early 1980s, the perfect magazine was published. Called The Unexplained, it was all about the unexplained. It nearly scared me to death. Literally. The adverts started to appear on telly and I was soon hounding my parents to buy it. … More Spontaneous Human Combustion
The world does not need a five pound coin. It doesn’t need a commemorative silver guinea or a special three pound coin with the queen’s head on it. What the world needs is a 99p coin. (If you’re reading this blog in some other economic zone substitute pounds and pence with your own currency.)
In a remarkable act of corporate conjuring, Apple has succeeded in making its head office disappear. This raises serious issues for CEO Tim Cook: has his chair disappeared too? Has Tim Cook disappeared? Probably not because Apple have kicked up a fuss following the EU’s demands to pay back corporation tax owing to the Irish … More Emergency! The Head Office Has Vanished
They nip, bite, sting, burrow into the flesh, occupy our intestines and eat eyeballs. They spread diseases and those that don’t spread diseases carry the bacteria and viruses that do spread diseases. In short, they are an unecessary evolutionary sick joke. They weren’t created by a Creator, they were created by the Creator’s morbid teenage … More Who On Earth Thought Insects Were a Good Idea?
It always tickles me when I read a blogger apologising for not blogging in a while. But then if they have hundreds of caring followers I can see why they would do that. I, on the other hand, struggle to get more than twenty readers per post and I know you lot won’t have missed … More The Incredible Disappearing Man
This interview should have been posted here back in May (possibly 2015!), but thanks to a lethal brew of inertia and pre-occupation with a new job and duff car salesmen – excuses, excuses, they’re all just feeble excuses – indie author Leo Robertson has been forced to wait for his place in the pantheon of … More Interview – Leo X Robertson
There’s been quite a lot of spam recently in response to The Agent’s Cipher blog post, but that is now closed to comments, so those adverts for American football shirts will be coming your way soon. Today, I received a very nice comment from a man called Xoy Chaopi, who might be Aztec, I’m not … More Latest Spam no.4
If you don’t like football, switch off now. This is a 100% footie post, with a difference. It’s not about football itself, but a television phenomenon that may outlast the pyramids. Saturday nights in the 1970s had a certain pattern to it: The Generation Game, Starskie and Hutch, and the evening finished off in the … More Match of the Day v Kick Off
In 2015 I took a walk around the estuary of the River Kent and nearly walked my feet off. Half way along the route, passing a farm with a load of fairground rides in storage, an idea came to me: a museum containing all the toys and games of my childhood. A search of Ebay … More The Museum of Childhood Toys and Games
One day in the 1970s, a new LP turned up in the house. A collection of songs by Burt Bacharach. One song in particular stood out: This Guy’s in Love With You. It wasn’t necessarily the song that connected, but its association with . . . witchcraft! Every Sunday we’d go for a day trip … More Burt Bacharach
Once again I am being visited by kindly souls pleased to have the opportunity to interact with greatness such as I. But there are times when I wonder about their motivations and grow a little suspicious, so forgive me if I come across a bit grumpy this time around.
Wander from the surfaced path of terrestrial television and you soon find your feet trudging through the quagmires of cable, satellite and freeview broadcasting. There are so many channels, and thanks to a quirk of the universe, twenty-four hours in the day. To any right-thinking person there simply isn’t enough content to fill the millions … More Wheeler Dealers
Falco subbuteo, to all you thickos who don’t know yer birds, is the Latin name for the Hobby. And with that sentence we learn why a table-top football game entered the world with such an obscure name. It makes sense in hindsight. At its peak of popularity, Subbuteo was more realistic than the real game. … More Subbuteo
The news has been circling the world for a couple of weeks following the massive leak of 11 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents contained information we already knew, summed up best by Noel Cowerd in The Italian Job: ‘Camp Freddie, everybody in the world is bent.‘ Or, to put a … More Who Leaked the Fonseca Papers?
There’s a Golden Age of television theme tunes, from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, a time when the programme and the opening music became one in a perfect marriage. The Persuaders is a stand out theme, along with Van Der Valk, but there’s one more worth mentioning: The Champions. Written by Tony Hatch, who had … More The Champions
Another lonely communication between the nether regions of the internet. And continuing my generosity in helping the sad and confused (kindred spirits) I’m sharing another message in the hope that some of you might find sympathy and empathy with our less fortunate cousins.
A question came to me the other night. Having read an article in the Guardian about the high street pharmacy Boots turning into a corporate retail monster, I sat listening to Going for the One by Yes, one of the first albums ever lent to me by a schoolfriend. As Jon Anderson warbled over Chris … More The Evolution of Corporations
Airfix isn’t the only company that makes construction kits, but like Hoover and Biro, the name means the same thing. Before robots took over the world Airfix kits were the go-to hobby for millions of kids. You could build anything with an Airfix kit (although a lot of the stuff I’ll describe in this post … More Airfix
I often read posts and articles about people who are inundated with spam, bothered by scamsters and what have you. Unfortunately for me, the TotenUniverse is such a lonely place even the spammers don’t come by very often. But occasionally one gets through, like today, so instead of hitting the delete button I thought I’d … More Latest Spam no.1
I was in a shop recently, a real bricks-and-mortar high street shop. I bought a magazine and the shopkeeper said “no, it’s free.” Free? He pointed to the walls of his shop, floor to ceiling advertisements. “Everything in the shop is free. My income comes from the adverts.” “Good for you,” I said before realising … More Ads and Adblockers
Every boy has a hero. Johan Cruyff was mine. << Back to Random Posts
In Lancashire there is a popular garden centre and they regularly have job vacancies on the website. Let’s, for legal purposes, call them Horton Close Garden Centre. On their website they describe what makes a good employee, what they call a ‘Horton Closer.’ But based on the details found on their website I think their … More A Typical Job Advert
Following the arson attack in Managua during the central American leg of Toten Herzen’s Malandanti world tour (unofficially retitled the Let the Insurance Cover It tour) Alien Noise brought in brand management consultant Theo Rand of New York firm Solid Gold to advise on damage limitation. Alien Noise, in an uncharacteristic act of altruism, invited … More Marketing And Creating That Killer Brand By New York-Based Consultant Theo Rand
No, it’s not a new book by Dan Brown, it’s an earth shattering discovery revealed on an obscure website so secretive I’ll be hung from Blackfriar’s Bridge if I reveal its name. Every UK literary agent’s rejection letter contains a secret code. You thought rejection letters were standard replies? You and me both. Assuming agents … More The Agent’s Cipher
I recently wrote a post asking if we were weird, now I’m asking if we’re idiots. A lot of companies seem to think so, the latest being Lulu, the book publishers. They’re giving away free money. Read on to find out how you can get free money. In fact, not even free money: FREE MONEY!
What’s in a name? Where do characters come from? Sometimes, the questions authors are asked are difficult to answer: ‘where did you get the idea from?’ is the perennial lump hammer of a question; virtually unanswerable. But occasionally a question can be answered, and today I’ll tell you how I created Belarussian rock band There … More There Will Be Blood