I used to be snobbish about smartphone cameras, but not any more. The days of hauling 4kg of metal up a mountain are over. Advertisements
I once abandoned a novel after running out of steam. It was 2002 or thereabouts and I never thought I’d write another one. Now, if I don’t write something every day I shake like a man totally wired on espresso.
Sorry there’s no big fancy title image or any of that flashy stuff, but in researching a blog post about WikiHow I came across this bit of advice: How do I make money in the crop growing or animal farming business? WikiHow answer: Grow fast growing plants or raise animals that produce a lot of … More Couldn’t resist this!
Today should have been a happy day. A day of joy and celebration. So what’s stopping me from doing a jig?
There are men who can run as fast as gazelles and women who can dive to great depths holding their breath for up to twenty minutes. But one man from Bolton could defy gravity. Fred Dibnah.
Happy Christmas and all that.
Originally posted on TotenUniverse:
Most self-published authors will have encountered Smashwords’ notorious ‘meatgrinder,’ and few of them survive unscathed. They know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who haven’t come across this Gilliamesque monster, it’s the automated system Smashwords uses to convert uploaded files into various ebook formats. And it doesn’t work.…
Originally posted on Audrey Driscoll's Blog:
So many books… You know how it is — you read an ebook, think it’s pretty good, wonder if there’s a sequel. In a day or two, other books and life in general overlay the memory. Weeks later, something reminds you of that book. Now, what was the…
Why does a rubber rub out pencil? People are so nasty and horrible these days that if you ask a perfectly reasonable question they’ll say, ‘why don’t you google it, asshole.’ (It is possible to make these people look stupid by asking a rhetorical question…) Back in the day, when I were a lad, I … More Pencils, Rubbers et al
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
A few weeks ago I came across a free copy of the Daily Star. For those higher mortals who don’t live in Britain, the Daily Star is a tabloid newspaper. Noted for its bums-and-boobs approach to journalism, the Daily Star makes the Sun look like the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s a throwback to an age when … More I Read The Guardian, But I Don’t Know Why
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
What makes a good writing cafe? Well, the one I’m sat in at the moment. Quiet, stylish, refined. Has a touch of class about it, which suits my status as a professional internationally acclaimed author. In fact, I should have worn my new watch, a Christmas present that sits on my wrist like something built … More Decent Writing Places
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!
I should start by apologising for the inclusion of football in this post, but I won’t because this post is not about football, it’s about apologies. Institutional apologies. But quoting Valencia football club (which some would say is still not about football) leads me to my conclusions on when things go wrong and someone needs … More Apologies