Thursday, August 31, 2006

 

Pluto loses its planetary status

Hi everyone. Dave Antares here.

Yes.. Perhaps not the best publicity, but all publicity's good publicity, right?

Anyway, it's been a few days since our last post, my ankle's better, and so it's time to put drop some up-to-the-minute prose. What I have to say is topical, trendy and, above all, insightful and wise. Oh yes - switching to Sans Serif font for maximum impact...

Australian umpire Darrell Hair, already unpopular with the Pakistan cricket team, has been at it again. This time he cast the deciding vo
te at the International Astronomical Union, condemning Pluto to dwarf planet status.

Pluto (left) relegated to dwarf planet. GFC says: It was Darrell Hair (right) wot done it...

A spokesman for Pluto was unavailable for interview.

(Oh - I'd better get some political comment in there, hadn't I...)

GFC says: "This Pig's dinner over Pluto only serves to illustrate the failings of Blair's Britain."

Meanwhile, in Entertainment, win tickets to see M
C Hammer live at the Colchester Auditorium on October 9th by entering our competition on page 36 of this month's GFC Living.

The Hammer: should he be a bigger part of GFC? YOU decide!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

 

Charles Peters


Oh Snakes alive!

Is this man to follow me to my grave!

You can only wonder at my horror in discovering that we'd been reviewed by Peters. He's poked his nose into everything I've done. I feel it would be reasonable for me to lay open some of my dealings with him.

I'm unsure of the precise origin of his hatred for me. How could a man be jealous of a soft toy? Perhaps it's because I am an artist, while he is only a critic.

An early memory comes from almost 20 years ago. I had just been elected East Anglian Young Webdesigner of the Year, 1986. The principle project I had been working on, and that led to my election, had received a bad review from one of Peters' colleagues. Regretably, I took some pleasure in my vindication during my acceptance speech. He has never let me forget this.

We were to clash again at a Webfare dinner in 2003. Unfortunately, I had been placed at the same table as Peters. I'm not proud of my actions. Under heavy verbal provocation, I'm afraid that I propelled a rye bread roll at him across the table. Events quickly descended into a full scale food fight. Now, being a soft toy, I was quickly at a disadvantage. Peters easily buried me in mashed potato - a food he well knows I dislike. However, I found my range with a well aimed creme brulet. Security, and then the police wanted to talk to me, and I found myself in the position I am today: estranged from the webdesign business.

I feel I had the last laugh, though. While I'm fully machine washable at 60 degrees, Peters had to take his kilt and suit jacket to the dry cleaners.

Dinky

Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

Further communication from WR:TW

This afternoon, I contacted Natalia Wurnz, editor of WR:TW with regards their review of our website reproduced in the previous post. I said that I felt the review was unjustly harsh, particularly given that Garlic's Food Clinic has been in existence for less than a week. I also pointed out that I was unsure whether Charles Peters would be able to write an objective review given his previous dealings with Dinky.

Ms Wurnz replied promptly, reminding me that the internet is a place of free speech, that GFC is in the public domain and that anyone is welcome to an opinion. It looked like a form letter. However, she further reminded me that the terms and conditions that admit reproduction of content from their website stipulate that it must be done so in a sans serif font, because it's more "up to date". I have edited my previous post to conform to this.

I won't waste your time by reproducing her entire e-mail here, but some people might be interested to see the blog writing guide she attached for my edification.

How to write a blog by WR:TW's staff writers

Writing a blog is a very simple occupation if a few guidelines are followed.
best wishes from the staff at WR:TW

NB: We are currently in the process of beta testing a piece of proprietary software that will produce blog entries automatically without the need for input from the user. Please watch our website for updates.

 

Review on WR:TW

Unfortunately, it appears that somebody has been reading this blog. I received a courtesy email from Website Review: The Website telling me that we'd been rated. It's not encouraging reading, sadly, although this may have something to do with the reviewer being Charles Peters, an old acquaintance of Dinky's from his webdesign days. I reproduce the review below with the permission of WR:TW.

Review of Garlic's Food Clinic

This is one of the worst, possibly the worst blog I have read since I began reviewing them some two years ago.

Let us get the positives out the way to begin with. The kindest thing I can say about Garlic's Food Clinic is that it is absolute crap. It is perhaps the most empty-headed, banal, ill-thought out, illogical, groundless nonsense ever to be saved on a disc drive. If anything, the dry, leaden, needlessly repetitive and often malapropic prose is a blessing, as it prevents the casual reader from appreciating the appallingly pointless content.

As to particulars, I was in no way surprised to find the names Dinky Deer and Dave Antares associated with this rubbish. Dinky has a habit of finding himself involved in the very worst and least imaginative projects. As for Antares, I wouldn't trust him with a keyboard anymore than a cat with a canary. Perhaps left to his own devices, Hugo Lambert would have written an average blog. Somehow, I doubt it, however: his invitations to Deer and Antares show extremely poor judgement.

Regular readers of Website Review: The Website or
Website Review: The Magazine will know that a good blog consists of certain components. He or she will also recognise that none of them are present here. Granted, the authors do discuss the political commentary, photographs and recipes that must be posted, but they singularly fail to present them. If they are not sufficiently discouraged to discontinue their blogging, and I hope they are, Lambert and co. might also consider posting what music they are listening to, what books they are reading and www links of interest. Of course, and here's the trick, we are not interested to hear what they are interested in. We want them to post what is expected of them. I want to hear that the blogger reads the Guardian, that he listens to Belle and Sebastian and that he has left leaning politics, although I want to understand that he is in no way intending to live his own life by them.

Not to say that some personal content isn't allowed in a blog. An occasional rant is, unfortunately in my opinion, an accepted part of blogging. Just make sure that you flag it as such, as I don't want to read it.

In summary, then, writing a blog is simple. Garlic's Food Clinic is a cyberspace disaster that fails to satisfy on any level.

Charles Peters

Monday, August 21, 2006

 

Cat photo


Hi All. Antares here.

I've been trying to pull together some of the content we need to get this blog on the road. Now, I can't knit, and my cookings fairly embarrassing, so I thought I'd try to get some photos of babies and cats. Combining them with an (admittedly synthetic) heart warming story will then provide the kind of thing we're aiming at. Anyway, let me know what you think.

What with copyright being what it is on other people's photos, I went out and about this morning with my camera. First, I had a pop at getting some babies. This turned out to be generally unpopular. In the end, I only succeeded in getting this picture of someone's hand. This gentleman was with a baby, but I guess that's not quite what we're looking for. In the end, I was forced to abandon the project, as I was moved on by a policeman.

Turning my attention to the local cat population, I met with little more success. Cats, it turns out, are quite camera shy. I chased one round the block. Unfortunately, with my view of the street obscured by my camera, I tripped over. The camera went off as I fell, allowing me to get the following shot. Again, maybe not quite what we're looking for, but I can assure you that
that really is a cat in the photo.

Oh - and now for the heart warming prose.

"Today I sat out in the garden with Molly our cat. She's been such a comfort since the kids left home. Here she is playing with a feather she found. She didn't catch the bird, of course - she wouldn't hurt a fly!"

There. Not bad, eh.

I might try bringing some catnip next time. I've twisted my ankle, though, so nothing for at least a couple of days.

Dave

Sunday, August 20, 2006

 

Monkey Man

Hi Fellas!

Wow - I leave this page alone for 24 hours and return to find a learned discussion on cosmology already in progress.

Dinky - although I find your idea about time reversal as an assistance to storytelling a little far-fetched, I do know of one example where this has actually happened. The Specials 1979 track Monkey Man was written as a tribute to Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown. However, the Stone Roses were all but unheard of until about 1984, as far as I'm aware, and Brown himself would have been barely 16 in 1979. Hence, The Specials probably first encountered Brown sometime during the mid-1980s and decided to retrospectively release Monkey Man some 5 years earlier. The track itself hints at this:

"I never saw you, I only heard of you, huggin up the big monkey man"

Obviously, they had never seen Brown in 1979, but they had somehow heard of him - allowing the production of track. And if we are, perhaps understandably, unbelieving, they assure us that:

"It's no lie, it's no lie, Them a tell me, You huggin up the big monkey man"

Why they would choose to release a song five or so years earlier than the actual date of composition is unclear. Perhaps they had an urgent gas bill to pay and needed five years of royalties immediately.

The same argument could be made for the Rolling Stones even earlier song, also entitled Monkey Man, which was released in 1969. The lyrical evidence, however, is inconclusive.

*Amazingly*, no one seems to have picked up on all this.

Anyway, Dinky, I recommend you get in touch with the Specials immediately.

I'm not quite sure where we're going with this blog, but I'm satisfied enough so far. We've not yet posted any of the trendy political comment, recipe ideas, knitting patterns, cat or baby photos found on other blogs, but I'm confident we'll provide this kind of stuff soon.

 

Sun, Moon and stars


Really, David, you mustn't believe everything you read on the internet!

On the other hand, it's perfectly acceptable to believe everything you read in books, as there have been books for hundreds of years.

Which inspires me to answer your question about how the moon stays in the sky. I have been reading Tom Weller's classic text, Science made stupid. This is what he had to say regarding celestial mechanics:

"The moon can't fall down because it is in orbit. An orbit is the interaction of a combination of forces - such as gravity, inertia, centrifugal force and others - that result in a perfect balance."

Recently, it has been pointed out that gravity, like evolution, is only a theory. I think Weller was aware of this because he continues:

"Nevertheless, it is a good idea to stay indoors as much as possible."

Hmm. I've been thinking about the layout of this website. I know I promised myself - as well as the court system - I'd never go back to computing. Still, I notice that in a blog, the posts run most recent first, and then back in time down the page. That it makes it rather difficult to follow the thread. I suppose the reader could turn their computer upside down, but then bits might fall off and the letters will also be upside down. An alternative might be to reverse the passage of time, so that the posts appear in the opposite order. I'm not sure if this is possible, however - I can find nothing on it in Tom Weller's book.

Or maybe I could just try smearing Oil of Olay on the computer screen. No, that didn't work either. (Although the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines has been somewhat reduced.)

Dinky

 

Antarctica debunked

Hi, Dave Antares here. I suppose it's my turn to post.

I'm sure I need no introduction to those with an interest in motorsports, having been a founder member of Barry Boyz Racing - the team that brought the diesel engine to rally driving.

More recently, like everyone, I've begun to take an interest in the internet. It's amazing what you can find out from just a few minutes surfing.

I thought I'd start by sharing what I've learned about the Earth itself. Put simply, it's flat. I mean, I can't believe I've never thought about it before. I'd been happy just to accept established science. But the internet has opened my eyes, convinced me to trust my own instincts. I've travelled. I've lived in the world.

In reality then, the Earth is shaped something like the United Nations symbol. (Come to think of it, this is probably the reason the symbol was drawn the way it is in the first place.) The traditional spherical view runs into more and more problems the further south we go. Eventually, we reach Antarctica - if indeed it does exist - evidently a continent in crisis, strung out as it must be around the entire edge of the planet. I suppose it must be a fiction. I confess to being dissapointed, as I had wanted to visit one day.

In general, though, I feel empowered - no longer relying on others to form my view of the world, although I'm still unsure how the Sun and Moon stay up there.

Dave

Saturday, August 19, 2006

 

A new start


Hello,

I thought I'd introduce myself to everyone.

My name is Dinky, and I'm a former web designer from Colchester in the UK. You probably remember me from websites such as Traction engine review and This week in BETAMAX video.

Nowadays, I occupy myself as a greengrocer selling fruit and vegetables. It is, perhaps, less, shall we say, cutting edge than website design, but it's a safe job, and I'm satisfied serving the community day to day.

Although the Dinky Webdesign company is now defunct, I've kept in touch with and become friends with my former client Dave Antares - hence my presence on this webpage. Those of you who know my earlier relationship with him may wonder why. I suppose I found out something about myself. I just couldn't walk away. Partly, I think, because I've got a heart, and partly because I'm a soft toy and am, under most circumstances at least, unable to walk.

In any case, it's good to be onboard.

 

They've cancelled FOX kids TV this morning

Oh god, I can't believe I'm actually doing this. Formerly, I agreed entirely with the concept of the blog free zone, believing that a blog is just something that fills harddrives. But then, I don't actually have to read anything I don't want to, do I. And I have started reading the blogs of people I'm interested in. Granted, the Earth may increasingly be a Garth Marenghi among planets - having written more than it's read. But it's no more my right to object to that than it is to inflate my own sense of importance by imagining that people might actually read this.

I'm told that writing a webblog is good for one's writing in general. And I could do with that. And if I don't tell anyone where it is, then no one will have to read it. Plus they've cancelled ULTIMATE MUSCLE this morning, leaving a hole in my life.

Perhaps this will be my last ever post. Perhaps I'll be found dead on this sofa in three weeks having written 50,000 words.

Anyway, I've asked my friend Dave Antares and his publisher / webdesigner Dinky to join me on this site. I hope this adds to the colour of the thing.

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