Kill the programmers. Save the world.

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment – Warren Bennis


In anticipation of this event I already have the dog. My wife came with a Basset hound (not a real dog) and while Warren Bennis wasn’t breed specific, I can only deduce from his lack of a caveat, that he never owned a basset hound. Responsibility is not really their forté. In fact I often find myself both befuddled and amused that such a creature exists. Afterall canis familiaris comes from genetically engineering a sub-species of wolf. It casts serious doubt on… well… the French for starters.


Our world is in a constant state of flux. Which I’m largely appreciative of, since for the most part, I am quite partial to a bit of impermanence. It keeps things interesting. And for as long as anyone can remember, futurists, carnival psychics, weathermen and more recently economists have tried to forecast tomorrow.

When I was a toddler I fell out of the wash basket I was using as coracle and smashed my head into the galvanized post of the clothes line. The result was a nifty scar (not unlike Harry Potter). The blunt force trauma however to my third eye (and surrounds) was less endearing and unfortunately debilitating. It meant I was never able access my chakra’s and my ability to predict the future has, as a result, been severely impaired. (Basically zero) Although you could argue that this makes me just like everyone else. Apparently its this amazing commonality that we all share. Regardless of race, gender, political ideology or fiber intake, one of those great egalitarian forces at play.

I can however still make some assumptions about the future and then hypothesize. Which is not unlike mental masturbation. You can practice it on your own and it’s relatively fun.. but really the payoff is short lived and its mortifying if you’re ever caught with your pants down. We still do it though. Some of us daily and routinely. Hypothesize I mean. We suppose things. And then take steps to combat something that hasn’t happened yet. And potentially may never happen.

The opposite of this is mindfulness (I think). Or at least living in the moment. It’s something I’ve been trying to cultivate recently. But it’s really hard. Especially since the future seems quite exciting and potentially somewhat comforting to us. Somewhere out there in the future there is a version of us that is, hopefully, better than what we are now. Although why this should be of solace to us is a little worrisome. Doesn’t that mean that the current version of us is less than optimal? Or even defective somehow? Why do I plan on being better at some future yet undetermined date? What’s wrong with me right now? (besides the obvious I mean)

In any event, while you’re sitting in your little corporate cubicle farm, ready to minimize your Facebook window at a moments notice, you are failing to grasp the grim reality of your situation.

Right now, somewhere, some vitamin D deprived, bespectacled programming fuck is writing code meant to replace you in your job. He doesn’t hate you. (well… he might) This is just the way of things…. and the sooner you realize you are basically an inefficient, time-wasting meat sack with a heartbeat the better off you’ll be.

This machine is guaranteed to be waaaaaay better at your job than you. No more coming in late,  no more smoke breaks. No more sniffing glue or blow off the toilet seat during lunch. No more browsing Pornhub or tweaking your manufactured Instagram life during office hours. In fact, lets be honest, if you weren’t around the company would probably save A LOT of money. And the work would actually get done! Why wouldn’t they want to replace you with a machine? I suppose if you were really good looking they might keep you around. But ugly people are fucked. Efficiency all the way.

Lately I’ve been endearing myself to the other parents in the toddler birthday scene. ‘Hopefully you’re not planning on steering your son or daughter to take up medicine?’ I mention offhandedly. This makes the other adults clustered in the defensive bulwark shift uncomfortably and avoid eye contact. They sense Jo is about to launch into a soliloquy but none of them want to be the one to set him off on his tirade.

‘It’s like wanting your child to become an alchemist. You’re being an irresponsible parent’, I continue, ‘in the future all surgery will be done by robots. Insanely more accurate than your inefficient son or daughter with their shaky hands and opioid addiction problems’. ‘Medicine as we know it will no longer exist. We will still need plumbers though. And probably electricians. Infinitely better career choices in my opinion’.

Going forward I think we have two survival choices. (There may be more, but at the moment my binary brain can only think of two) You can turn yourself into a highly specialized freelancer or you can become an entrepreneur. Neither of these can (as far as I can tell) be easily or cheaply replicated by a machine. And there should (theoretically) always be a demand for both.

Or you can make so much money now that you won’t have to worry about the future. That is the third option.

I’m making the assumption that the machines don’t rise up and kill us all first. After all how many programmers do you think there are right now, sitting in their y-fronts drinking Red bull and mucking about with AI. One of them is sure to get it right one these days. Fuck the terrorists. We should be rounding up the programmers!

If we act now we can…

  1. Stop the technological advance and save millions of jobs.
  2. Stop the unemployed starving masses rising up and murdering the all the 2%ers.
  3. Preserve the status quo. (it seems pretty okay at the moment imo)
  4. and… Potentially save humanity

Now we just have to debate whether humanity is worth saving…


Actually… now that I think about it, forget I said anything.

Perpetuating an imperfect system

My heading for this blog post was going to be, ‘Saving for retirement’, but considering how I feel about the topic, that seems disingenuous at best. Also a reader may mistakenly surmise that this is a post about personal finance (It mostly isn’t).

I should probably mention that I have nothing against the word ‘for’. As a preposition it is totally functional and relatively useful. ‘Saving’ is also fine, as a stand-alone concept. I think everyone should try it at least once. But ‘retirement’ is an awful, malignant word. Grouped together these words form (more or less) the basis for everything that is wrong with the world…. ok, I will grant you some notable exceptions. Like… warm beer and short people. Debating however, why such things should be allowed to exist is to question the divine. (which is another blog post)

Saving for retirement on the surface seems like a very reasonably exercise. But maybe it’s just an elaborate form of masochism. Emphasis on the word ‘Saving’. I have far less issue with building a flexible income generating asset base that can last into perpetuity (through something like entrepreneurship).

Having a lot of money when you choose to retire is obviously really nice. And having more cash when you retire is obviously better than having less cash. But have you really ever considered what retirement actually entails? Besides sitting around and counting down the hours before your inevitable foamy, (gurgling) demise in some palliative care facility.

Why do you want to retire anyway? Doesn’t this mean you’ve bought the programme? They sold you the kool-aid. And you drank deep. You’re on step eight of your ten-step life! Next stop… smelling like an old person and death. Some people like to imagine step nine is travel and boat cruises… but its not. It’s a weird musty smell… and having suspicious looking growths zapped off your wrinkled, sun damaged skin by a dermatologist and pencilling funerals into your diary every weekend as your friends and family kick off. Sounds awesome, I can’t wait. Basically I have to save and invest for my whole entire life in anticipation of this event? Seems like a great way to spend the time allocated to me.

How many happy retirees do you know personally that are getting after it? You know… living the dream. Count them on your fingers. I’ll wait… I’m willing to wager less than a handful and that’s only if you move in impressive circles. Would you swap your life currently for their life? They have money after all.

Let’s segue into something else and ramble on about science for a bit, because science is awesome. And finance is just okay. When it comes to retirement we are using outdated models and concepts that were struck in the fifties. Expected life span. You see we all have just one lap. Lets say its four hundred meters… only half way through the race someone in a white lab-coat has changed it to 800 meters.

My expected death is age 78. Statistically speaking. I’ve just turned 39. Which feels ancient. Some days I wonder how people who are 49 get out of bed in the morning without painkillers.

Only my life expectancy is probably not 78. It’s probably closer to 100. Mind you for the proletariat its still 78. In fact probably less. I’ll probably be in a position to afford the miracles of science that are coming. The nano-machines. The new organs (with modifications). The rejuvenation clinics. The implants that tell me three days in advance that I’m going to have a heart attack (just enough time to pop down to the clinic and have flawless robotic surgery and a flat white). My two year old daughter will likely live to be 120… maybe longer. And for her children death maybe something that only happens to poor or unlucky people. Death is unlikely to be egalitarian forever.

Imagine at age 60 you’re going to have live another… 40 years off your retirement funds. That’s a really long time to be running down your assets. Sure, you might have a metric-fuck-tonne of money, or be an adherent of Mustachianism (the 4% rule) or even on the flipside just conjuring up a dystopian future where we trade cigarettes and blowjobs for dirty brown water and blighted potatoes, so really, what’s the point?

Round about now you might imagine this rant is against investing and pro-Epicurism. Let’s work forever and blow our money on whiskey, cigars and the experience economy. Let’s consume to the point where we need a self-storage unit to contain our ever burgeoning collection of stuff.

Its not.

My issue is more about how we look at our lives. We get these social norms and this corporate nonsense pumped down our throats as soon as we’re born. This is your life!

  1. Get born. 2. Go to school. 3. Get a degree (get into debt). 4. Get a job. 5. Work nine am to five pm 6. Buy a house (you can’t afford) 7. Buy a car (you don’t need) 8. Breed. 9. Retire. 10. Die.

Instead of retirement shouldn’t we be punting a concept of designing our lives better? At the moment the way we use our money doesn’t make any sense. We kill ourselves to hoard our money away for a period in our lives where we can’t really make full use of it anymore. Or we blow it all and use whatever we earn to finance our debt. Perhaps I am decrying the lack of some middle ground alternative.

Is this just some terrible burden we’ve all taken on where we actively try (and very often succeed) to defer our lives. Money (and by association our investments) should be the scaffolding we use to build our lives around, not some weird end game strategy.

I used to believe in the whole retirement fairy tale. I mean it’s worked for my old man. (hasn’t it?) He sits around, reading, pottering around in his workshop, annoying his offspring, bickering with my mother and watching hours of network news. Slowly he is trickling down his funds to zero or close to that…  a fuse burning down towards the great white light and the acrid burning smell of litigation (when his children will murder each other for the scraps of his estate)

We imagine free-form days as the ultimate reward after a long hard trek through life. But in reality nothing is more frightening (and potentially dull). When did being old and rich somehow morph into something to aspire to?

Young and rich would obviously be better. And middle aged and rich would be the compromise position between the two extremes. In reality none of those outcomes are very likely, although we are constantly told that outliers in this field can be studied and emulated (just buy our book). In our post-industrial revolution lives we are more like cogs in a very big machine, all grinding on in the same direction on some predetermined path unable to alter our destiny.

This is not a blog post about solutions. Besides, who am I to make any form of judgement call about anyone else’s life and how they plan on spending it? For the most part I’m just wondering out loud about my own unique circumstances and a system that I’ve decided is stupid. Or maybe this is just long form justification for a (mostly theoretical) lifestyle decision that I a trying embrace.

In any event I do think it’s something worth thinking about. Broadly this post is about future proofing yourself. (you know for when the robots come). And not being complacent in our assumption that the status quo will simply continue ad infinitum.

What is your reducency plan?

Lies, damn lies and statistics

I rarely look at my wordpress stats (well, I try not to). This is more of a self imposed rule rather than any real sense of nonchalance or ambivalence I have towards statistics. While this information is useful (I’m sure) for bloggers who want to up their readership and appeal to a certain segment in the market, I use my blog primarily as a form of  procrastination (and therefore, have no real readership goals or expectation). For example, right now, I should be attending the scary amount of work I am behind on (or the tackling the equally scary avalanche that threatens to overwhelm my inbox) But instead I’m clacking away at the keys… achieving nothing of real consequence (story of my life).

When I opened my WordPress this morning however, something caught my eye.

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 9.19.00 AM.png

I had to google what maigre meant.

Definition of maigre. 1 : being a day on which the eating of flesh is forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church.

Which, as you can imagine, confuses me even more. I’m assuming it must be a typo. Although the rest of the search term also annoys me. Don’t you normally search for blowjobs or fucking? Maybe they meant meagre? In any event, I have now (annoyingly) spent a fair bit of time wondering what some paedophile* meant when he hamfisted his google search.

* I realise paedophilia refers to a prepubescent. But the ‘little’ in the search term tends to bend me towards labeling them as such.

In any event. Googling this phrase myself fortunately doesn’t bring up my blog. (It does however probably flag me on some sort of database) In any event I will continue to ponder this strange occurance while the basset rests his head on my head.


Perhaps with our combined intellect we can solve this enigma. (Don’t get your hopes up, the basset hound has actually now fallen asleep, which leaves only the dumber member of our dynamic cross species duo to ponder)

My wife has recently become persona non grata in the child sleeping department…. So my day started at 1am with the two year old (who had been dreaming about citrus, demanding a naartjie*) When no naartjie could be produced this lead to a meltdown of chernobylian proportions. I eventually went to go sleep with her on her bed where she tossed and turned for about an hour, poking me in the eye and smashing her forehead into the bridge of my nose (Although smarting from the pain, I was also a little proud) while she drifted off towards REM sleep.

*colloquialism for a Satsuma Mandarin

After this I struggled to fall asleep again, so I downloaded and started reading these (alternating between the two) on my Kindle app.

At the moment I’m guardedly neutral about Daniele Bolelli. He gets great reviews on his podcast and his books and I found myself really liking some of his musings. BUT, I also started skip reading (bad sign).

I now know this happens because the internet has addled my brain (thanks to The Shallows by Nicholas Carr) I notice it happening (more) when I’m interested in the content… but not fully engaged. This could also have been because it was 3am. I don’t know. I can’t read like I used to and it’s frustrating. At 5am the girl child was awake and demanding a muffin. So we trundled off to the local coffee shop (which is 24/7) in our pajamas in search of a double espresso and muffins.


In other news my first habanero has changed from green to orange. Which means soon I can start harvesting. The rest of my chili crop was annihilated in a hail storm when I left my seedlings exposed outside at the beginning of the season. This plant was one of two that made it and its turned into a monstrous bush, standing 5ft high, with (I estimate) at least a hundred chilies on it. I’m quite excited.

The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson

Oh em gee. I have new favorite people. Forward slash book. I realize this changes from week to week… and that I flip flop between positions of eminence like some sort of Havaiana. (its the best I could come up with)*

*as opening paragraphs go… not the greatest… but I’m typing at pace and feel retraction is admitting defeat (something I’m clearly loathed to do this early on)


Enter, The elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson. A duo, that added together, equals awesomeness. Yes, I realize I overuse the solution in this equation, but this time, its totally justified.

Two things almost stopped me experiencing this exceptional piece of work. I tend to see-saw between audio books and podcasts. Usually dependent on when my Audible credit becomes available…. so I almost missed Sam Harris (The waking up podcast) talking to Robin Hanson. I read the show notes for the podcast (which I often use to gauge my opportunity cost, ie what do I think will add more value, Sam Harris… or killing whatever high frequency hearing I have left with Five Finger Death Punch)

The show notes read like this…

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Robin Hanson about our hidden motives in everyday life. They discuss selfishness, hypocrisy, norms and meta-norms, cheating, deception, self-deception, education, the evolutionary logic of conversation, social status, signaling and counter-signaling, common knowledge, AI, and many other topics.

I grimaced. It sounded dry. And cerebral. Definitely NOT something I was in the mood for… But I listened to the fist couple of minutes anyway, the housekeeping section (more because I was wondering if Sam was going to say anything about Lawrence Krauss*). He doesn’t, but Sam does allude to the poor sound quality in this podcast. ‘Well now I’m definitely NOT going to listen to it…’

*(wordy aside) I don’t have a massive hard-on for Lawrence. BUT… I’m not into Crucifixion by media (if you can call Buzzfeed media) either. If he’s found guilty in a court by his peers let him suffer the barbs of derision… but until then… fuck you all. 

Generally speaking, the only movements I’m into are my bowel movements. I did read Lawrence Krauss… (damn… I’m not sure whether to put an s’ or es onto the end of that… its one of those grammatical rules I never bothered to learn and now its coming back to haunt me) I did read the nine page treatise/response to these allegations by Lawrence Krauss (that’s better) and his explanations seem very reasonable (although they would, wouldn’t they?) I think the only acceptable behavior these days is to NEVER flirt with anyone. Ever. That way the species will die out… and things can just go back to before all this (totally bullshit) evolution happened. To quote Douglas Adams (RIP)


In any event at the moment, guilty or innocent, it sucks to be Lawrence Krauss. (Unless all this media attention has actually helped him in getting his thing wet, which as far as I can tell, is all he ever wanted to do in the first place)

We now return to our regular programming. I ended up listening to the whole podcast and I’m really glad I did. Its really good. Highly recommended. And the sound while not I-max is actually, mostly fine. Robin Hanson comes across as supremely likable. And an interesting foil to a much more dour Sam Harris. (sorry Sam)

This whole endeavor lead me to consumerism.

I must be honest, I stared at the cover for quite a while before I purchased this book. It just doesn’t speak to me at all. I know, I know, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover…’ But I really hated the Rorschach effect and I hated the ‘Hidden motives in everyday life’ tagline even more.

I finished it in one night.

Which doesn’t often happen anymore because I really love sleeping. (Definitely in my top five things to do with my time now that I’m tiptoeing towards the mid point of my life expectancy)

So… what is this book about? The short answer is everything…  I briefly considered doing a synopsis… but I don’t think I can do it justice. Besides that’s what Goodreads is for. I’m just here to ramble nonsensically and pitch the book from left field.

I can however attest to wanting to read this book again. (also something that almost never happens anymore) I blew through it so fast on my first read I didn’t stop to underline any passages or take any notes… and this is definitely the sort of work that requires some some form of rumination. (the deep considered version of rumination and not the bovine chewing the cud kind)

Otherwise this book is really well written, in a prose that’s very easy going and engaging. I didn’t have to spell out any of the big words and the punctuation all seemed pretty reasonable. A lot of authors (especially academics), while supremely knowledgeable… can be frustratingly obtuse. It makes reading their work more akin to cognitive coal mining,  but maybe you’re into that sort of thing. I, on the other hand prefer my reading to be a slothful (preferably supine) event and if I’m going to receive a mental enema, I prefer to be lubed up. And maybe encouraged with some kind and thoughtful words first.

Its a great book. You guys rock. You managed to succinctly convey your thoughts and ideas and I was thoroughly entertained throughout. More than that, you’ve given me lots of think about. Thank you.

Room on the Broom (2012)

At some point during your single, carefree, existence you get this vague sense of Gruffalo-mania that grips your (foolish) friends. Those friends that have procreated and produced progeny I mean. You’re not entirely sure what its all about, but your brain registers this unexplained phenomenon and files it away somewhere (in a wonky cardboard box underneath the sink) for reference later. In the meantime you smirk at your friends greasy hair and the sliver of dried snot running up their shirt sleeve. And years go by.

Then, at some point, you decide to pick up the baton of advancing the species and end up breeding. (Which, as it turns out, is harder than you originally anticipated). You manage to survive the first two years… you’re not entirely sure how…  but it’s usually around now that you get smacked (between your bloodshot eyes) with… the Gruffalo.

But I understand the appeal now. The Gruffalo is a coup d’etat in consumer psychology, managing to bridge a very challenging divide, in so far as it can appeal to two markedly different development cycles, the until recently sperm-ovum combo and the adult that donated it. (Off the top of my head, Pixar manages to do something very similar with its movies)

Julia Donaldson is brilliant. Which maybe I should have just led with, but I felt I owed her a couple of ancillary paragraphs first. You know, some sort of wordy acclamation in honor of her awesomeness.

Julia Donaldson has other books. (who knew) And one of these is, Room on the Broom.

It’s a great book.

10658722-1354798864-305478.jpgBut so is the movie.

I know, I know, heresy. And I’ve been super weary of making a judgement call on which one is better. So I’ve taken the agnostic approach… and straddled the fence on this one. I’ve learnt a valuable lesson when vitamin D deficient bibliophiles and geeks went scouring their (parents) tool sheds for handheld farming implements and torches when I off-handedly remarked that the Lord of the Rings movie was better than the book..


I still stand by that… but no longer try and inflict my (clearly) insane opinions on anyone else… (that often anymore)

So how awesome is Room on a Broom? This is much… (Joey holds his hands out wide) At least six feet* of awesome.

* I may be making that up…. since I’m not entirely sure how far I can stretch… and engaging my core now to exit this extremely supine position to fetch a measuring tape,  fills me with… sloth.


I do have one… small… tiny gripe about this movie. They changed the word ‘chips’ (in the book) to ‘fries’ (in the movie). As in French fries. Which really annoyed me. More than it should have.


I’m pretty sure America could have figured this out. After all they’ve sent people to the moon. (which indicates some level of competence at problem solving) Stop mollycoddling them with language. And you Simon Pegg (the narrator) *points at eyes, points and Simon* are complicit in this! Shame on you.

But other than that, this is a really great animation and I heartily recommend it. Yay Julia Donaldson, yay!

Ready Player one by Ernest Cline (Audiobook)

I’m trying to decide whether this is a good book or not. I know that might sound strange, considering I was absolutely enthralled from start to finish. But now that its over and I’ve blown my load (so to speak) I find myself reaching over for the metaphorical cigarette, taking a deep drag and exhaling towards the ceiling. I now have time to ponder… and potentially make a quick getaway. Assuming I can find my pants.


Let me start by saying Wil Wheaton as the voice artist is superb. I feel this needs to be said. Right up there with RC Bray and Nick Podehl. I’m starting to appreciate Wil as a bit of a Polymath. Motherfucker has some enviable skilz. (Here endeth the fanboy gush)

This is a very niche book. And I think can only appeal to (and be appreciated by) a very narrow stratosphere of people of a certain age and… what are the words I’m looking for, cultural proclivity. I couldn’t for example recommend this book to my wife, whose comment after a hundred pages would be, ‘seriously, what the fuck?’

I was born in 1979, just shy of the sweet-spot target audience for this book. My arcade experience was more Golden Axe, Street Fighter and Shinobi. I was more into Nirvana and Soundgarden than eighties hair metal. By the time I watched Wargames it was already quite dated. Although I (still) love some of the movies from that era. Willow, Ladyhawke, Dark Crystal, Never ending story. But those were… generally more fantasy titles and aged a bit better. (I can probably quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail verbatim). African or European?

Still, all the cultural references in this book made sense to me. Lets be honest, it is largely a homage to a certain era, with a story tacked on. Still… I REALLY liked it. Is that because I played D&D. Programmed text games in basic, spent hundreds over hours playing arcade and video games? Reading comics and absorbing Greyhawk supplements to the point where I have better understanding of the economics and penal code of Flanaess than the real world?



The Spielberg movie is coming out in two weeks. I’m glad I’ve read the book first. I’ve watched the movie trailer… and… well… the stacked trailer park looks like how I imagined it. And there’s a battle scene at the end of the movie with… the iron giant. Who DEFINITELY doesn’t feature in the game at all. Actually, from what I can tell… its going to only follow the book very, very loosely.

At the moment I’m true neutral (see what I did there) about the movie. Mostly because I understand that if you have a fight scene with Mecha-godzilla, Ultraman and Leopardon (a Spiderman robot) most people just won’t get it. So you have to tweak it/change the entire story for broad based appeal. (I’m one of those people who get REALLY upset when the X-men movies deviate from the canon) In fact the only super hero movies I’ve actually liked in recent history have been Deadpool. And to lesser degree Ragnarok (because it was actually quite funny in parts). I’ve adopted a wait and see attitude towards Ready Player one. Its Spielberg. He occasionally does okay. You know… Indiana Jones (only the first three)… The Goonies… *thinks* Gremlins…

Reading or listening to Ready Player One if you’re not ‘that way’ inclined, I can imagine, quickly would become like reading a treatise on the nuances of subway transport. (something I tried to do recently) Being completely out of my depth I got bored and frustrated really quickly.

So in answer to my original question. Is this a good book. I have no idea. Maybe. Only you can decide in the end. I had a great time. Good luck with your quest.



Eldritch Horror

‘Kid… I was losing sanity and racking up phobias before you were even born’… is what I want to say the pubescent punk in the comic book store who is forcing me to engage with him. Instead I smile meekly and carry on flipping through the stacks. Usually I can rely on my 6.3ft frame and surly demeanor to rebuff any attempt to bait me into idle conversation. He seems however, immune to my anti-social cues and intent on extolling the virtues of Cthulhu Wars to me. I imagine picking up one the heavier Gundam wing blisters and bludgeoning him with it until he stops talking (twitching, whatever).

Cthulhu Wars is a trigger word for me. Yes I know Sandy Petersen made it. ‘… and George Lucas stuffed up his own legacy*’, this is my grouchy go-to response for Cthulhu War neophytes who don’t know any better. Although to be fair I still like Sandy Petersen… George Lucas on the other hand… is dead to me.

*no one can believably counter this with any enthusiasm.

Cthulhu themed games have become ubiquitous. I realise I sound like a cantankerous senior citizen who can only remember when everything was ‘better’ but let’s be honest, these days, poor Cthulhu is wrenched out of R’lyeh style REM sleep at every commercial opportunity and plastered on everything from yahtzee style dice games to lunch boxes. Being a great old one isn’t what it used to be. No wonder he hates humanity.


If you discount the paper and pencil (6th edition and below) RGP, Eldritch Horror is by far my favourite. (I also like Mansion of Madness)

For me at least Arkham Horror just got too broken with all its expansions (which I dutifully purchased and then bankrupted myself buying sleeves for). The thought of going through all those cards and trying to return it to some sort of playable base game that isn’t completely $#%*@! fills me with such dread that I’ve just been avoiding it (forever).


Eldritch Horror works better for me and the co-op experience just feels better and more enjoyable somehow. I realise that is super subjective and lacking in any empirical evidence, I mean Eldrich and Arkham Horror are more or less the same game. Same characters, same cardboard cutouts. The only difference really is that one is New England centric and the other Macro-world.


Go to an exotic location. Get better equipment. Read a skin cover tome. Close a gate. Pop some xanax and return to coda. Stop… eh… delay the end of the world. It’s a weirdly repetitive formula I can, for some reason, totally get behind.

Eldritch Horror always ends up a fun night for me. Even if Shub-Niggurath or Ithaqua lay waste to the world. These things happen. It’s not really a game where defeats fester in the dark recesses of your mind.

Great game, not to be taken too seriously. This isn’t Firefly after all. Ha ha. Highly recommended.

Dollhouse. Not the series.

’twas the night before the birthday and all through the house, both parents sat building and cursing out loud…


Playmobil (initially) amused me with their warning on the box. I imagine this is because giving your kid an unassembled model that takes you 60 minutes to assemble while your kid is having a melt down might… fray the nerves somewhat.

It took two of us (with some serious degrees* behind us) more than an hour and a half to assemble this… without the screaming child. (which would definitely increase the challenge rating imo)

*albeit it primarily commerce and not engineering degrees.


In any event it is done and when she wakes up tomorrow we will unveil the fully assembled dolls house in all its glory.

We are very cunning. And wise. Yay us!

Scott Pilgrim (Comic book)

I know everyone has read this comic. This is less of a review. And more of a long laborious ode in which I proclaim my love for Scott… and therefore by association, Bryan Lee O’Malley. (I am not worthy)

If you have no idea who Scott Pilgrim is…  What the hell is wrong with you? (well, you were probably a jock at school, never played coin operated arcade games and never obsessed about a 486 and 16bit sound) I mean I don’t judge you. (okay… maybe I do… just a little bit)


I’m listening to techno on my ridiculously oversize headphones.

Specifically James Brown is dead by LA Style (1991-92). I have to do this at work in secret because it would likely cause my wife to smother me in my sleep with a pillow. No written warnings. She’s a Seattle purist and would likely conclude I’d gone over to the darkside, from which there can be no absolution. She would leave me for Eddie Vedder. Chris Cornell is dead. So really, Eddie is the only real danger-man left to me. (although I feel relatively confident I could beat him in fisticuffs, if it came to that)

I like Rammstein. Probably my favorite band. Even their broad success and commercialism can’t sway me. But I also like Metric. Our wedding dance was Death Cab for Cutie…. after a minute or so the DJ stopped the music and I started doing the dance to  The Black Keys – Lonely boy. (I was subsequently joined by my wife and bridesmaids and all best men) We walked into the reception to Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle) by Limp Bizkit. (This should give you an idea what sort of wedding this was*)

Andrea & Jo COLOUR-279 (Copy)

*I wanted her to walk down the aisle to the Imperial March… but that idea was veto’d**

**my idea to be married by a Yoda impersonator ‘Married you are’…. was also… unfortunately veto’d. (She has more veto’s than you might imagine any normal person would be allowed to have)

Anyways. I love the late eighties, nineties and early two thousands. I think this was the best time to be alive. (I am a little bias obviously). For me, the quintessential comic that wraps this all up is Scott Pilgrim.

Ready Player One (they play James Brown is dead in the night club scene in the book) and Masters of Doom has recently made me super nostalgic. I’m not usually nostalgic… but Ready Player One has had this weird effect on me. (Fuck me, this is a good audio book, I hope the movie does it justice)

Anyways, Me and Scott are BASICALLY simpatico. Ha ha. I empathize more with Scott Pilgrim more than any other literary character ever created. (well, more than any other character I can think of right now*)

*off the top of my head William Gibson’s Cayce Pollard might come second.

Last night I stayed up late (way past my bedtime) re-reading Scott Pilgrim one through three. I own physical copies of this graphic novel. Digital copies. I even own the soundtrack… on vinyl. This is how I roll.


I was also in love with Ramona Flowers. Ramona Flowers and Jessica Rabbit. (Although to be fair I rarely thought of Ramona Flowers naked)


The answer to this question is probably yes. And yes.

I can’t tell you how much I love this comic. Really, I just wanted to put this out there, so it is out there, in the internet. And can never be retracted.