posted 19 Nov 2012, 13:16
Question 203▼47 comments
Everyone else is kindly taking a turn so in the interests of contributing to the community I asked PiratMas if I could do today's question. She was kind enough to say Yes [:D]
Words have power. We can probably all remember some occasion when a cruel word from a thoughtless person has hurt us. And I hope we can all recall the opposite also, when an unexpected word of praise has caused us to walk around with a warm glow for the remainder of the day.
Words can also entertain us, a carefully crafted joke makes us smile while a passionately written speech makes us think, to explore new paths we never considered before. That's power. And it's good.
Words also provide us with unexpected delights, twisting and turning us in ways unimaginable. Sometimes it's just the way a word sounds, the meaning is irrelevant. I am privileged to know a young lady who finds the word Sprockets rather....let's just say, stimulating! I have never used that knowledge to my advantage. Nope not me, boss. Hehe.
But enough seriousness, this blogs not about that. This blog is about being silly. Something I know most of you are rather good at. Everyones favourite question maker, PiratMas, has delighted me over the past 200ish days with her range of English words. Most spectacularly entertaining, for me, was when she began her blog one day with the words "Hello my little nincompoops". Lol doesnt cover it and even now when I see PiratMas pop up on the blogroll a smile rushes to my face and I rush over hoping for more, silly abuse. What can I say - I'm a dingus, a ninny, a blockhead, a nitwit, a dope and a birdbrain. And weird, also according to Miss Mas.
So enough Nincompoopery, here's the question...
What is your favourite Silly word or phrase?
None English answers are welcome, just tell us what they mean please [:D]
posted 10 Nov 2012, 00:22
Once upon a time there was a young boy full of wonder and joy. The world was sharp and clear and everywhere he turned there were sights to behold. His eyes drank in the beauty of the world around him. Blades of grass, snails and worms, trees and flowers, birds flying overhead in skies so blue they could be confused with the meditteranean oceans. Well except for being up in the air and having birds in them obviously. The world was beautiful.▼9 comments
As the boy grew older a gradual change occurred. Time to gaze upon the wonders around him grew shorter, as the boy grew into a man he was forced inside. Cruel and sadistic taskmasters appeared to him using their powers to compel him to spent his time poring over schoolbooks and calculators. Forcing him to learn. The magic in the world began to fade replaced by science and facts. The birds which flew so freely simply became aerodynamic rodents kept aloft by aircurrents. The childhood playthings of bugs and mudpools became carriers of plagues and illnesses. The more he learnt the darker the world became and soon being inside seemed the correct place to be, he could view the world which was worth seeing through his screens, filtered by others to remove the ugliness in the scenes, even creating new wonders where none existed, once again bringing magic back into his life. As Superman flew through the air in place of the birds and impossibly beautiful green temptresses danced through his vision life was once again beautiful. Just no longer real.
Time passed, days bundled into months, into years and then incredibly into decades. Familiarity as always brought contempt and the man sought fresh stimulation. Jaded by past pleasures new stimulation was sought. Superman fell from grace, Batman replaced the boyscout in his vision. Although truth be told satisfaction was gained from the psychotic rogues gallery parading across the screen more than the hero's triumphs. Tales of love and romance disappeared as zombies appeared, their decaying forms echoing the crumbling of the world that the man saw. Everything became darker. Beauty was fading to a memory. Perhaps even a childish fantasy.
As middle age struck the man vowed to reintroduce the beauty that he remembered back into his life. Enough darkness. He would see the world again, not just view it. Extreme measures were planned. There was no choice he would risk the humiliation. He would face the possibility that the world would shun him, cast him out in retribution for his actions. The fear that the masses would point and stare as he disfigured himself to achieve his aims had to be ignored. He would do the unthinkable. He would get glasses.
Once again the world was sharp and clear. Nothing had been like this for years; now he could truly see again. HD TV suddenly made sense.
And there our story should end. It began with wonder and beauty and I wish it could end the same way. But wishes are for children, not men. More had changed than the mans eyes over the years. His mind had altered too. Where he had found beauty in recent times a frightening change took place. The soft lines of actresses features became sharp, cutting profiles. The camply horrible zombies shifted into a terrible mask of decay, heightening the evil they portrayed and leaving no room for beauty. Rather than reintroducing beauty into the world the glasses brought everything dark and despicable into sharp, definite focus.
And there is where we must end. A confused man, impaled on the horns of the dilemma he had created for himself. To see the world as it truly is, to accept the ugliness alongside the beauty. Or, as he was starting to suspect, would it be kinder to remove the glasses and live a life of blurred lines and softer shadows, where evil may lurk but at least it wouldn't be seen.
OK so the clue was in the title, self indulgent nonsense. But I've had glasses 4 days now and I'm a trifle disappointed. Just watched a movie with Eva Green in and jeezy peeps now I can she's a little spotty. She was perfect last week. Grrrrrr.
And if you're wondering so far nobody has pointed and laughed at me :p
posted 11 Oct 2012, 12:51
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”▼20 comments
Caution - this blog is not funny, despite Groucho's beginning, dont start reading and wait for a punchline, you wont get one :)
I love to read, I love books and I grudgingly love my Kindle - a product I sniggered at when it was released as a flash in the pan gizmo that would soon disappear. Proof positive that reading science fiction for years doesnt help you predict the future. My opinion wasn't without any thought though, for years people have been providing me with cd's full of book collections but reading on a PC always seemed more like work than pleasure.
So my kindles here to stay, what does that mean to all us pirates?
Recently I decided to compile a complete torrent of the Hard Case Crime series of books, there are about 80 of them now and requests for them pop up regularly on p2p sites so I thought I'd get off my ass and do some work for a change, hopefully satisfying a need amongst our communities. I rapidly collected together the majority of them only to be stumped, 16 titles were nowhere to be found, requests went up on forums, mIRC channels were pored over but still these 16 titles eluded me. I am ashamed to admit I made my way to Amazon with the intention of spending a little cash (*BAD Pirate*) only to find out none of them have ever been available as digital copies, that seemed odd as part of a series so I did a little research about ebooks, here are some facts about the world of ebook publishing I discovered that interested me, hope they interest you also.
1) eBooks, No Thanks.
The author has the right to release his work as an ebook or not. Some very notable authors, Pullitzer winner Richard Russo for example, have stated in the future their works will only be available as hard copy. Reasons given by authors vary ranging from wanting to protect the high street bookseller to fears of piracy. Stephen King's 2013 novel Joyland will only be available in paperback as it is a pulp crime novel and pulp novels should always be battered paperbacks. That's despite King being a great supporter of ebooks in the past.
2)Price Fixing - It's the law.
Protecting the high street booksellers has caused the US government to force sellers to charge a minimum price for ebooks. It is now illegal to sell an ebook at less than cost price. Sounds OK in principle but the price is taken as an avergae over a publishers entire catalogue. This means when a top10 author is discounted, titles by smaller authors become artificially increased, sales suffer and the potential break through novel of a new author gets ignored. It will be interesting to see how Amazon respond to this as it was their boycott of certain publishers that cause the previous price fixing policy of booksellers, the Net Book Agreement, to collapse approx 15 years ago.
3)Thanks Pirates, You're Awesome!
The successful thriller author Stephen Leather caused controversy earlier in August when, during a speech at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, he thanked the pirates of ebooks. His opinion was that seeing his products name plastered over torrent sites increased awareness of his work, which in turn caused him to sell more units (yes he speaks like an ad man).
Pirates, he said, are "doing his marketing for him" and eventually he would be able to do away with advertisers and even publishers. He also believes "most people would be too decent to download books they hadn’t paid for". I guess he never met me..
His opinion was not popular though and the audience heckled and booed him, an unknown at a sleepy literary festival.
4)Books Have Always Been Free
Although authors do receive royalties when their books are loaned from a library, the sums are so small that to all intents and purposes, books borrowed from libraries mean authors receive no compensation. Meanwhile, every day, millions of people around the world loan books to their friends, or donate books to charities, or leave them on public transport or otherwise share them in ways that prevents sales. None of this constitutes stealing from authors, and you won’t hear any objection from the publishing industry or authors.
Even some publishers accept this reality, publisher Tim O'Reilly sums it up "I think having 100,000 [books] in circulation and selling 10,000 is way better than having just the 10,000 that are paid for and nobody else benefits. People who don’t pay you generally wouldn’t have paid you anyway. We’re delighted when people who can’t afford our books don’t pay us for them, if they go out and do something useful with that information.”
5)We're Not Trying Hard Enough
The figures for piracy are pretty clear but seem surprisingly low. J.K.Rowling who wrote the Harry Potter has always been anti-piracy, until 2006 none of her works were available as ebooks, so it is with interest the figures for her latest work The Casual Vacancy have been received. Estimates are that as many as 50,000 copies were downloaded in the UK in the first month. Pfffft, we really are a pathetic bunch, we're getting beaten hands down by the high street shoplifters that managed to steal 100million paperbacks alone in the UK in 2011.
6)A Final Dig at Apple
Ok so its the net, a blog wouldnt be complete without everybody's favourite "love to hate" company, Apple. Apple refused to carry the latest textbook by Holly Lisle because "the company wouldn’t sell her book because it mentioned an Apple competitor." So lets just put that into plainspeak - if you write a book on self-publishing and mention Amazon, the biggest market in the world for self-publishers, then Apple will censor you, refusing to carry your work. It's big news when a library, school or bookseller refuses to carry a book for any reason but worryingly no-one seems too bothered when the same is done to ebooks. Taken to its extremes ebooks allow censorship to run unchecked, hard to imagine a student rally protesting the presssing of a delete button in the same way they would protest a book burning, even if the damage to our society is the same.
That's it, I'm done. Barely scratched the surface of ebooks marketing, piracy, unauthorised translations or even the invisible editing of ebooks, rewriting history after release without anyone noticing. The subject is full of wonderful contradictions and back stabbings worthy of a ....well worthy of a novel I guess. We can be thankful that so far the book industry has so far decided not to go down the sue the shit out of them route that the music and film industries have. Not yet anyway.
posted 03 Oct 2012, 16:04
Albert Einstein▼7 comments
There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
What a great day. I'm a bit of a grumpy git at times, sarcasm comes naturally as breathing and the internet makes sarcasm and gentle trolling almost mandatory for the best of people. Every now and then it's good to take a step back and remind yourself of all those things that we can be grateful for, it's puts the day to day grumbles into perspective and reminds us that despite appearances to the contrary, life can be good.
So without further chatter, my top five reasons to be grateful for the internet...
1 - KAT
Ok so this had to be first or I'd have gangs of members negging my comments for the next 12 months. Pirates can be a menacing bunch of scallywags. So why KAT? Community has to be the answer. I use a number of torrent sites, I dare say if KAT closed its doors tomorrow I wouldn't really miss the downloads. But it's the only torrent site I visit daily and thats because of you lot. Never has there been a more welcoming forum with people who make me smile, groan, roll my eyes and occasionally wonder WTF drugs are these people taking? Damn it, it's almost like a family. So pat yourselves on the back people, KAT community - number one with a bullet.
2 - Games, games and more games.
Well we're all a bit spoilt on this site, stupidly high prices for games that a 10 yr old could finish in a weekend (Sleeping Dogs anyone) dont really affect us as much as those who choose to live their life without a parrot on their shoulder. But what does surprise me is how much of my gaming time is free and legal. From 10 minute rampages on Realm of the mad god, protect your castles in classic tower defense (Kingdom Rush) to stalking your friends on Team Fortress or spending weeks amassing an army alongside your alliance mates to start a war on Evony free gaming has never been more fun, definitely something to be grateful for.
3 - Wikipedia
I love trivia and so I love Wikipedia. What I love best about it is making the assumption that everything you read is wrong but people will still believe it! Hunting for nonsense on Wikipedia has been a hobby ever since it told me that the official motto of my home town of Birmingham was Tota fun et ludis donec volans simiae, oppugnare Sounds impressive until you visit google translate and find out it means It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys attack
4- Free Porn!! and kittens!!! (Its not really about the porn)
What's not to love :) With the possible exception of Gay Midget Rodeo Clown Porn for Darius, there's something out there for everyone. The internet becomes the great leveller, no more creeping into the newsagent when the male assistant is serving to buy your copy of Gorgeous Granny's grab it all from the comfort of your armchair, anonymously and with out shame.
But it's not just porn, the net is a paradise for art lovers. A quick search on DeaviantArt for a new wallpaper often turns into a marathon surf session as you hop from one link to the next. From photography to anime, sketches to landscapes pictures for every conceivable subject are available in an instant.
The unknown and the unexpected. I never know what I'll be looking at tomorrow. Random comments on blogs have led to some unexpectedly entertaining searches. Home taxidermy was a good one, especially strange individuals splicing together dead creatures to make new and unusual species. Or perhaps i'll just spend an hour staring at the following image looking for the hidden tiger, can you see it?
So that's my top five, combined as one they make an excellent distraction from the trials of the real world, which is sometimes a little too real for me. My beautiful 11 month old nephew went in for heart surgery this morning and I was sorely in need of some distraction. Hence the wordy post. I am so pleased to say it all went better than expected and he's awake and smiling despite the drips and drugs. And that is why today is a great day.
posted 23 Aug 2012, 15:54
Ever feel a little bit different? Ever feel like you just dont fit with the rest of the world? Well my friends that is because you are an odd sock. Its a terrible state of affairs to find yourself in - nobody likes an odd sock. Usually it means something has been lost, the odd sock has lost its partner and finds itself alone, unmatched, incomplete. Odd socks annoy everyone, people dont know what to do with them. You dont want to throw away that odd sock because you know when you do the other one will turn up. So we hang onto those odd socks, watching the odd sock drawer fill to bursting, cursing the invisible sock thieves that cause us such anguish.
As with so many things that cause us pain there is a solution! The good news is that it's a simple solution all you have to do is completely change your viewpoint on the world, life the universe and everything. What could be easier? So you're an odd sock? You are different to those around you. Congratulations! You are unique! There is no-one else quite like you. Lonely? Don't be silly, look around you...you have been sent to the odd sock drawer, you are surrounded by other unique individuals.How can you be lonely when there are so many odd socks around you each with their own characteristics and personalities for you to savour and learn from. And you'll never get bored with your contemporaries because there is always another odd sock about to join the drawer club.. Such a blessing that there are so many others in the drawer whose company you can enjoy.
Feeling useless, like you have nothing to offer anymore? That's a common feeling in the odd sock drawer. The truth is though we have everything to offer. As an odd sock you are there waiting for your moment. People may curse your existance but the day will come when your worth is realised. When the man who has everything looks around one day and finds himself sockless, his tootsies chilly he will rediscover your worth and realise you are as valuable as the most expensive pair of silk socksies.
If you are very lucky you may one day find yourself matched with your perfect partner. Your oddness disappearing as you become part of a pair. Joy and love unsurpassed since your early days as a sock. But fear not if this does not come to pass, even the perfect pair of socks on closer examination reveals itself to be two individuals, each with their quirks and kindnesses. Each with their scars where life has rubbed on their heels. And their are those out their who find that a life paired with an unmatched sock eccentric and beautiful!
So you are an odd sock. From one odd sock to another - Its good to know you :D
posted 16 Jul 2012, 18:17
Hey guys and gals. A month or so back everybody's favourite rep chaser posed the question to us What would you include on your bucket list?. Although my answer was rather short I have since pondered the question quite regularly since then. My first response was along the lines of why bother with a bucket list, just enjoy life day to day. But that's a cop-out and betrays a rather serious lack of imagination and ambition.▼13 comments
Okay my original bucket list in response to SirSeeds blog was
1. Get a job
2. See a tennis match at Wimbledon
It seems that writing a response to SirSeeds is even more effective than writing to Santa at christmas. As of 1 hour ago number 1 is 90% certain (Just a reference check, fingers crossed) and due to the olympics this year I was able to score a couple of tickets to court 1 at Wimbledon in a couple of weeks. Of course such good luck does not come without its price, my good lady insists on visiting friends for the next two weeks (a fortnight in Darius Matrix time), none of them sporting an internet connection. Due to this lack of connection I must kindly ask you all not to say anything funny for the next 14 days. Last time I went 2 days without coming online when I returned there were bananas everywhere. I dread to think what delights i'll be missing out on.
Anyways back to the original premise, the bucket list. As I mentioned I have thought long and hard on this one, many a bus journey has passed trying to add a few entries to my list and what have I come up with so far? Absolutely nothing. I think the problem is not my lack of imagination but simply that life is good enough for me just now. Perhaps my expectations are too low or maybe, just maybe I spend far too much time thinking about questions posed on internet blogs.
posted 10 Jul 2012, 18:11
Received a pic today of my 8 month old nephew, Isaac. The little man is currently enjoying his honeymoon (well technically its his parents honeymoon I guess) at Legoland. I was jealous enough at his holiday choice but imagine my surprise when I discovered which room he chose to stay in!
As can clearly be seen from the expression on his chubby little face the life of a pirate is in his blood and I rest peacefully sound in the knowledge that the future generation of cutthroats and scallywags is waiting in the wings to keep us older buccanneers supplied with our music and movies in our old age.
At the very least I hope he can convince his dad that IsoHunt really isnt the best place to look for his torrents ;)
Apologies to SirSeeds for the lack of kittens in the pic. I should have photoshopped one in, then the pic would be perfect.
posted 12 Jun 2012, 14:42
I make no apologies for the fact this is cut and pasted and not my own words. Sometimes other peoples words echo my thoughts and feelings more eloquently than my own. (Copied/Stolen/Pirated from IWTFY)▼8 comments
You will not remember much from school.
School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been.
(People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
posted 03 May 2012, 08:35
Well here in the UK today its a special day. It's a day to cast our vote in the local elections. Power to make a change, to stand up for our beliefs, to defend our rights and make our voices heard.▼9 comments
Now here's my problem. I don't believe a word of it.
I've always voted. I always thought it was my duty to cast a vote. People died so I could cast a vote today. You could argue that people are still dying to protect my democratic rights and allowing me to cast a vote today. Yep I can buy that. Thats why we are in IRAQ and Afghanistan. So I can vote.
So there I am this morning 0730am standing in the voting booth staring at 6 names and all I can think is WTF am I doing here. Seriously. 6 names, 4 of which I recognise. Which should be a good start but actually the ones i recognise have stuck in my mind mainly because I disagree with their politics or because in one case - he's a complete twat. So that leaves two. First one lives just 2 minutes away from me and is so dedicated to his politics he's never knocked on my door. Last choice, ok that's the christian party. Nothing against religion, I have a faith of my own but voting for a party who's main platform in our troubled times is to cast the gay out of our schools. I think not.
So who does that leave - None of the above? I'm starting to realise I might be living in a fantasy world as I consider writing that on the bottom of the ballot, maybe draw a quick cartoon of an 80s Richard Pryor to really drum the point home. That'll show them. Finally I can exert the power of my vote! Use it to its full potential! Throw it away! I'm starting to wish I'd stayed in bed.
So what did I do? All these complex political theories running through my mind. All my obligations, all my rights, my love of freedom, my disillusionment with politics, my overpowering NEED to make a stand, to make a difference, to stand up and be counted. All these conflicting and overwhelming thoughts tearing through my brain as I reached for my pen to do what was right. Dammit to do what was necessary to fix this cruel and uncaring system once and for all. This was my time! I could do it with one stroke of my mighty pen. I could change the world in a heartbeat!!!
I Voted for the same guy I did last time. And the time before that.
Now I sit here. Deflated. The world moves along the same old path and I know in my heart it's all my fault. I blew my chance at that crucial moment. One man can make a difference. He just chose not to today. Sorry about that.
If you are lucky enough to have a vote, today or any day, please use it. In the UK 2/3 of the poulation don't use their vote. Stand out from the crowd.