Not Jason

I was getting coffee and a choc chip muffin this morning. My late week staple when things have largely started going sideways on me. A heavy set, bearded, behemoth gets out of his truck wearing a camouflage bomber jacket and sporting a Glock on his thigh. On the side of the truck is emblazoned ‘Argon security’.

He orders coffee and we stand together.

‘Would you consider yourself an “Argonaut”‘, I venture casually. He gives me a look like I’m mentally challenged. I point at the truck, ‘Argon’… as if to underscore my point.


He gives me another look that I interpret as ‘are you high?’ God I wish I was…

Maybe they’re named after the inert noble gas? Although that makes no sense to me. I feel that I’m loosing this particular battle however and that he is no mood for chit-chat. I sigh. ‘Nevermind’. I guess were not going to be discussing the modern warriors penchant for tarn-fleck over golden sheep’s wool.

He’s ordered a caramel Macchiato. I judge him… albeit silently.


I’ve realized something about my browsing and how I read other peoples blogs. I almost always click on their about page. I find that quite deterministic in whether I will start reading the rest of their posts. I want to know something about the person whose blog I’m reading.

In any event this made me consider my own ‘About’ page. Which is… not very revealing. I was initially quite cagey about engaging people, wasn’t even into comments until quite recently. But I’ve had a change of heart.

Anyways, today I saw a cool ‘About’ page which listed 49 things about the blogger in point format. I decided I wanted to something similar. But in pictures. Its a work in progress. And will eventually be added to the bottom of my ‘About’ page.

Joey in pictures


Metal is dead. It just hasn’t gone to heaven yet.

This album was released 27 years ago. Holy #$@&!


*Joey takes a moment to lament his youth*

In a bout of nostalgia I laced up these suckers recently.

Lasted for about an hour before that bout of sentimentality abruptly wore off and I re-donned my fluffy slippers. For my sins I could hardly walk the next day and hobbled round the house like I’d recently engaged in some form of violent sodomy.

How did I ever dance until the early hours of the morning in these things?* I use the term ‘dance’ quite loosely. Some of those moves should have likely involved some sort of safety equipment. 10oz gloves at a bare minimum. Are mosh pits still a thing? Or are we smarter now? (and less inclined to take on recreational trampling)

* and perhaps more importantly how did I remove them in under ten minutes when time to de-clothe was of critical importance? (often under added influence of eh… other substances) Clearly I was quite dexterous.


Gah! Right in the feelings.

I lost a follower today.

I only know that because my mind noted that I… *sigh* used to have 69 followers.

Its was a Beavis and Butthead type moment. Heh he. Sixty nine.

And today I have sixty eight!

I don’t have very many… so the loss of a follower hurts.

I need you to come back guy… you were the one that brought balance and symmetry to my follower count. Like Ying and yang.

Without you I am directionless… drifting. Also… what did I do wrong?

I can make this right…

Even if you were a bot… its okay. Just come back.

I plan on internalizing my failure to satisfy you during the course of my day. Maybe drawing up a list of things it might have been. And then agonizing over each and everyone one of my deficiencies.

Consider me admonished.


Wait what?!?

So… you didn’t hit the monster in the face with your axe, pinning all your hopes and dreams on a single dice roll?

I don’t understand kids today.

This is NOT how we used to play Dungeons and Dragons!

A little housekeeping

To steal a subject line from Sam Harris.

This blog started out as a personal finance blog. Ostensibly because someone didn’t reply to my email right away. (thanks Kristia) Righteous indignation is a powerful motivating factor. But… as it turns out I don’t really have that much to say about personal finance that can’t be summed up in two maxims. Don’t spend more than you earn. And invest the difference. There are only so many ways you can skin a cat. Everything else just becomes arguing the minutiae. I also felt I was becoming a bit smug and preachy about the whole thing and it became difficult for me to sermonize with out the nagging feeling that I was punting a lifestyle choice… while surreptitiously feeding the ego machine with one hand and patting myself on the back with the other. Well done Joey. Go get a sticker.


Just thinking about some of those (sometimes very aggressive) blog posts makes me suck air through clenched teeth. That’s not say the personal fiance blogs out there aren’t great and super helpful. But that wasn’t me.

Deciding that I should check my ego I pivoted and decided I was going to blog about board games instead. Or perhaps rather, gaming in general. I love strategy and storytelling. Especially interactive story telling.

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Joey getting murdered at Caverna on Friday night.

Going out, dancing until the early hours and then attempting to get slutty while amusing in my twenties, would now leave me seriously dysfunctional for days on end, sofa bound and mewling for ibuprofen. Besides I’m married now which invalidates a lot of that sort of behavior. I’m much happier listening to music on my headphones and playing games with my school friends. At best my gaming blogs were touristy and quite vapid. There are some really good gaming blogs out there and after a while it didn’t feel like a good ‘competitive’ space for me.


Then I tried personal blogging for a bit. Meh. Which after a while, just felt quite mindless and self aggrandizing. I started to despise my blog and ditched it completely for a while.

..And now I’ve been back for about a month.

I’m enjoying this format a lot more. Apologies if you started following me for some of the other blog entries and you’ve found yourself mouthing the words ‘What the fuck is this…’ recently.

I don’t really want to rehash my About page (where I briefly cover my motivations) But I’m likely to continue in this probably quite eclectic fashion. I find it a little bit more introspective and interesting (for me at least).

I’m also going to add comments to the end of posts. I’ve always been quite weary of a comments section. But I also worry I might be getting wrapped up in my own echo chamber sometimes. Existing in this input-less vacuum isn’t necessarily a good thing. I think I’ve been unreasonably weary of interaction with other humans. Conventions and firmly held convictions should be challenged from time to time.

So there’s that.

I’ve also gone through some of my previous posts with a machete. There was A LOT of mindless drivel, typed at pace in sub optimal conditions. What I haven’t condemned to the trash bin I might revive and re-post at some point with some heavy editing. So… there may be some reruns in the future where I think I can do better.

Anyways… thanks.






The myth of adulthood



This perfectly encapsulates how I feel about life at the moment.

I am also procrastinating. I should be paying attention. I’ve been grappling (I think that might be too kind a verb) with this (stupid) tax calculation for… about two days now. I’ve now finally asked my wife to help me. This is basically my default setting. Try something obviously beyond me. Get frustrated. Get angry. Get depressed. Ask my wife to open the child-proof container.

Its a vicious cycle.

My day started off at Starbucks. The slowest Starbucks in the history of the world. Ever. Also the guy in front of me didn’t know what he wanted and then had to connect to the free wifi before he could pay for his Caramel Frappuccino® . This incensed me for a lot of different reasons. Mostly because despite sporting the appearance of a grownup he was just so clearly inept at life. How did he get here? What evolutionary fluke was playing out? Should I step on his larynx?




I fell asleep in front of the television watching Ricky Gervais on my laptop. (My daughter has secreted away the Apple Tv remote) I vaguely remember some Caitlyn Jenner jokes… and then nothing… I woke up about twenty minutes later, discombobulated, Humanity still in full swing. Closing my laptop I rampaged off to bed with the stealth like poise of a baby rhinoceros, navigating by iPhone light (so I wouldn’t fall over an errant German Shepherd sprawled out in the passage like some sort of dinner for one-esque rug). After that I tried (unsuccessfully) to unfurl the blanket that my wife had (with advanced mathematics) somehow established herself in. (you know, so I could get a tiny corner of warmth) After ten minutes (okay, maybe more like thirty seconds) of furtive probing I gave up and the did married couples version of when someone tries to pull the tablecloth out from under all the crockery.

After a slew of cuss words that would make a B-Block inmate blush and the hijinks of  navigating through the domestic version of the Tough Mudder… I wasn’t sleepy anymore. And so here I am, back where I started. Albeit in my pajamas now. With my teeth brushed and sparkling clean.

We have an excess of office furniture at work at the moment. It’s not really serving a purpose, other than taking up space, so I decided to appropriate a filing… shelf, cupboard thingy. I had the minions drag it down the stairs and then delivered it to my house this afternoon. (flagrant abuse of managerial powers entrusted unto me… by… well… me)


Tada! The girl progeny has a new bookshelf (from which to dispense and distribute her books to every conceivable corner of the house). Some of these books she inherited from me and are not currently age appropriate (HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Chuck Palahniuk*) But I figure she’ll grow into them eventually

*I’m kidding. There’s no Chuck Palahniuk in there.

Did I mention it was the progenies birthday party this weekend? I can’t remember. After a quick brainstorm we decided that the thought of having a gazillion people in our house, with a plethora of snotty, little people in tow, rummaging through our vinyl collection and poking at my lego (and that’s just the adults) filled us with dread and loathing… Plus we’d have to lock the dogs away, and since that’s not really something we would even consider, we decided to have her party at the park instead.

My wife made a Peppa Pig cake…


… and much fun and merriment was had by all. Except the girl child, who absolutely hated all the attention and tried to remove herself from any and all social activity. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

IMG_8636.JPG She also refused to take off her hat. And spent the morning looking mostly pensive. Although sometimes she would mix it up with a bit of a scowl. (REALLY awesome photos) I’m sure the talk will be of my strangely mute child who has clearly fallen off the development ladder.

Speaking of which, we had our first teacher-parent meeting at the Kindergarten she attends this week. They made us sit on the little wooden stools in the classroom, while her teacher and the principal took opposing tiny chairs. I must be honest, I felt a little uncomfortable… like I was in trouble…. old habits die hard I guess. Or maybe its a guilty conscious. Either way I did my best not to squirm. Or flee.

Turns out she’s the best in her class. Even in the long, illustrious history of the school they have rarely seen such raw magical ability (is what I imagined they were saying) It’s all very impressive for a mudblood (her mother’s a muggle). We smile politely. ‘Do we have any questions?’ ‘Not really’, we both mumble.

In other news I ordered books today. And then clicked same day delivery. (this is how I roll… sometimes) Two hours later I had received…


…I know. It’s a university textbook. On potentially the driest subject imaginable. I go through weird phases. I’ve already devoured two chapters and so far I’m really intrigued.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to reveal my strange proclivity. In any event, twenty  minutes of killing stuff on playstation and then bedtime for Joey. Sweet dreams. Joey out.

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.

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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.

Wild wild west

So my neighborhood Whatsapp group is going ballistic. Pun may or may not be intended. This is probably a kilometer from where I live.

The general unconfirmed gist is that a gang of guys tried to rob a cash in transit truck. The action was captured by someone (without the good sense to keep their head down) in the office block up above.

Its graphic. I should probably mention that. Especially since one of the robbers gets smeared on the side of the get away vehicle as he tries to escape.

Or this one.

On the plus side the weather is nice out today. Sunny. With a slight chance of bullets.

Rain, rain go away

Because I made fun of the UK in my last post it’s started to rain.

It’s not all bad. We are listening to our new LP’s while pulling the girl-child round the house in a card board box.

We spent all our money on coffee and analog technology. So we have to make due with the box we got at the farmers market and a piece of rope.

Admonishing me for going too slowly.

The German Shepherd is amused.


I had this idea that I should probably do some work. I’ve let my inbox grow wild and unkempt and now strange faceless creatures inhabit its deeper shadows. I’m scared to go crawling in there alone. Unless accompanied by an adult (preferably wielding a baseball bat with nails driven into it). I’ve decided to blog instead (albeit outside on the deck). Much safer.

IMG_8385.jpgI take a picture, ostensibly to torment my childhood friend who is currently hacking at his blackened, frost bitten feet in Bristol with a phillips screwdriver. I am mean that way. He replies that he had to queue for bread like in ‘Stalinist Russia’. This makes me remarkably cheerful.

Our day started off with breakfast at our local. I was up at 4am to let the creatures out. But then I went back to sleep. Uncharacteristically the girl child let us sleep until seven, so we didn’t get our usual table…. which REALLY messed with my Feng Shui/sense of order in an otherwise chaotic universe.


This didn’t bother the progeny who personifies chaos. And therefore I imagine, doesn’t care if we sit at a table without clear sight lines or if our flanks are exposed.

After that we went phonograph shopping at 44 Stanley. I was hoping to get there before it became uncomfortably dense with skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts. Alas, it was not to be.


(I know, I bitch about hipsters but dress my child in three quarter pineapple pants and a Ramones t-shirt. I will occasionally dabble in hypocrisy)

Before the claustophia of too many immaculate beards packed into too small a space overwhelmed me, I did manage to purchase this…


I also bought a Pearl Jam and a Springbok nude girls LP, which I’m quite excited about. We rounded out our morning with fair-trade, artisanal coffee (you know when in Rome). It turned out to be decidedly unremarkable. A dribble of coffee in a one size take away cup for which the cost per gulp was obscene.

In other news I rescued a German Shepherd last night. (or resided him to two weeks of incarceration followed by lethal injection, depending on how you look at it). I had just finished walking my dogs when I noticed a dog loping down our road in the distance. It was getting dark but I could tell by the slant and the gait it was a GSD.

This is actually the last thing I felt like doing. And in all honesty if it had been a different breed (like a pitbull) I might have left it. I know for a fact that nobody on our street owns a GSD but I asked a guy sitting on the pavement if he’d seen where the dog had come from. Further up somewhere he mumbled unhelpfully. I rang a couple of bells. Nothing definitive.

Initially the dog was super weary of me. It was uncollared and not in a good condition. Way too skinny, coarse fur and limping. Eventually I managed to get close enough that I could touch it. Got my wife to bring the car around. Sometimes when we pick up strays they hop right in. This one didn’t. ‘Please don’t bite my face off’, I said gingerly stooping down to lift the dog into the car. I won’t lie I was a bit nervous picking up a German Shepherd whose temperament I didn’t know. It turned out okay and my wife drove him to the SPCA near our house.


Posted the dogs picture on the Neighborhood group shortly thereafter. Didn’t get a response other than a ‘fuck you’ for not taking the dog to a no-kill shelter (which was nice) Maybe he’s chipped. But I have my doubts, his condition didn’t scream conscientious owners. Anyways, I remain hopeful that someone will either foster or adopt him. I always pay for the medical and spaying (in the case of a bitch) to further their chances a little bit.

I’m not sure I’d wear it, but how cool is this t-shirt?


I’ve recently decided that the soundtrack to my life is 16bit midi. Maybe the theme to Golden Axe. I feel this t-shirt graphic perfectly sums this up.

Time served for good behavior?

So every day my daughters playgroup/kindergarten sends pictures to the class whatsapp group. This is what your kid did today. Its usually a series of four or five photos with a little blurb that make you feel better about the money you’re spending to send them there.

Yesterday was no exception.

Something with colored water and syringes, I forget the learning application. Fine motor skills maybe?

Hmmm. Whats that background


So my daughter is locked behind the gate. We imagine it was something innocuous, like she was having her nappy changed and was waiting to come back into the playroom. At least we hope its that and not that she was serving some sort of time out because sunk her canines into some kid who didn’t know they were poking the bear when they reached over and picked up her play-doh. (Also how I know she is my daughter)

For now we are treating it as a humorous event. Although I will be scrutinizing future photographs very carefully.


I had this idea that I was going to watch an episode of Altered Carbon and then go to bed… But I’ve just read the Gruffalo out loud to my daughter. Twice. Which has (oddly) dampened my appetite for dystopian cyberpunk noir. Vaguely I wonder if dystopian is strictly necessary as an ancillary, isn’t cyberpunk automatically dystopian? Even though I’ve found they mumble their words in this series, on the whole, so far, I have been entertained. Although I imagine its not everyones cup of tea.

I never really liked Neuromancer (although I like almost everything that spawned from it) William Gibson is however responsible for one of my favourite books of all time. Pattern Recognition. (Likely the book I have read cover to cover, more times than any other book) I actually find Gibson an incredibly obtuse writer. I don’t like my science fiction to take on Faustian complexity. (I use the term science fiction quite loosely). It also very possible that I am just too dumb to appreciate Gibson-ism in all its glory. For me Pattern Recognition was the anomaly in his body of work, somehow our lego just clicked.

Hmm… I also struggled with Snowcrash. Isn’t that the other genre defining novel? Hm. I may be displaying a sense of naive ignorance here that upsets people. Maybe I should just move on. In any event, I tried the purist approach, it didn’t really work out. But before you lead me to the pillory I did once gamemaster the original Cyberpunk 2020 RPG by R. Talsorian Games, which should give me some props.


This is how far back my geek goes. Not quite 1983, Mike Wheeler summoning a Demogorgon in the basement epic. But not bad as things go. Only two years before I get my mirror eye implants and my flying car. I’m quite excited.

I bought my daughter a Triceratops this weekend. I was initially weirdly pleased by this turn of events. Its likely because George, a character in Peppa Pig (whose annoying theme song is literally stenciled into the spongy stuff in my brain) has a dinosaur. Shortly after the purchase of this Cretaceous (made in China) creature* I became less enthused about the whole endeavour when she stabbed one of the Triceratops horns into my eye socket (in a ‘grrrr-dinosaur’ type motion). Nothing like being temporarily blinded by your toddler outside H&M. I felt peoples judging gazes (even if I couldn’t see them).

*alliteration. It rarely happens anymore so I feel the need to point it out when it does happen. Yay me.


After that she bought me coffee at Motherland to make up for her indiscretion. (well… I deducted a mothercuppa and a chocolate brownie from her education fund, if you’re wondering why your dad can’t play for medical school) Notice how admonished she looks. (actually this is the about to spill hot chocolate all over myself look)

As an aside, earlier today when we went to the playground, some punk stole her pink shoes. In an effort to better engage in a frictionless decent on the slide she had taken them off. Unfortunately this opened them up to predation by other less scrupulous toddlers. I suppose we needed to have the world is not all buttercups and lilypads talk eventually. We followed up our serious discussion with some threat assessment analysis and three hours of nunchuck training. (my wife says no edged weapons until she’s five)

My wife is basically a pacifist.

The chemicals between us.

I suppose this post needs some context. I’m rearranging my warehouse. Well, I’m folding one into the other. I have two warehouses, right next to each other. In reality I have far too much space, and that’s made me super inefficient over the years. Lately its been upsetting my German-ness. I’ve also trimmed down my product lines somewhat and changed the scope of my business. In any event all this space feels excessive and wasteful.


Joeys racks.

Being paranoid I run two independent asymmetrical security systems in my warehouse. One of which is a pepper fog system. One of my forklift drivers clipped a pallet which graunched a cable leading to a passive sensor which (I think) caused one of the gas canisters to expedite its load into the immediate atmosphere.

I’m still not fully recovered. Damn. I’ve been tear gassed before, about twenty years ago. In the Commando (the day after my birthday) we were corralled into this rusty 40ft container. You have your masks on. Then a corporal or a sergeant pops off a tear-gas grenade and you have to gut it out for a minute (or however long it was). After that someone blows a whistle and  you rip off your mask and leave the container (just so you  get to experience what the full effect is like) Outside they had this trough made from a doubled over plastic tarp with water of a dubious hygienic quality with which to rinse your eyeballs and larynx. (not super helpful) After that went for a nice gentle jog up the hill, because well, sadism.

You know when you’re watching a riot on tv where some youthful individual runs forward with a wet towel wrapped around his head, picks up the 40mm tear gas round and throws it back at the police line… that always impressed me. (because clearly its your first time and obviously in your country you don’t fear the police)

A security branch policeman with a lot of riot experience during Apartheid once explained to me that that didn’t really happen in South Africa. Once the police started using tear-gas they were done playing and you should really consider going home. Picking up a canister and throwing it back was considered a severely life limiting move, which meant either one of two things. Either there was a 40kg fur projectile in your immediate future (apparently the GSD’s weren’t affected by CS, although I don’t actually know if that is true) OR the young crack-shot (who had grown up hunting Gemsbok barefoot in the Kalahari) on top the Casspir with his FN-FAL would put you down with a 7.62mm to the head.

This was all WAY before my time. My Commando experience was (in all honesty) spent mostly drinking. And then falling out of a Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma when my stick was being deployed to assist in a police operation. (totally less dramatic than it sounds). Topping off my list of embarrassing endeavors was chasing down suspected livestock* thieves at 2am in the morning through the veld and running straight into a telephone pole** and almost knocking myself unconscious. Sheer awesome.

*livestock sounds better than pigs. But they were stealing pigs.

**in my defense it was almost pitch black and pole was painted with bitumen. (although maybe I mean carbolineum. That black stuff they use to water proof)


This is the only surviving photo I have from that time. Pre-digital camera. The uniforms changed from Browns to Flecktarn soon after this.

Anyways, I think the point I wanted to make is that tear-gas really sucks. This pepper fog this morning felt way worse. I don’t remember tear gas getting in your skin like that. (although its been a while) I thought initially that my staff were just being dramatic. Toughen up people. It was only one canister and the warehouse is two thousand squares with high ceilings. Coughing, spluttering, tears and snot running down my face has changed my mind somewhat.

Its made me less keen on rearranging things and being productive today. So instead I have retreated into my office (ostensibly to feel sorry for myself) with a roll of toilet paper, a cup of coffee and uberEats on their way.

Hmmm… There’s a delivery truck parked outside my window. They’re collecting something. I don’t normally take much notice… only these barrels are marked…


“Does it strike you as weird that they are transporting phosphorus on the back of a flat bed truck’, I say to my sales manager, who distributing our uberEats order. She shrugs. ‘South Africa’.

I google the UN 1381 number.

UN 1381 – Spontaneously Combustible Class 4.2

Having already had my fair share of chemical fun this morning. I don’t really feel like pushing my luck. I think I’ll take my tuna-mayo-avocado upstairs for now.

An underpinning theme of shotguns

This seems like pretty good advice for life. Even if it is printed on the side of a box of Cadbury Astros.

I mean if you’re going to live your life by hard inflexible commandments this might not be a bad choice. Also they’re delicious. (Jo takes a moment to display his complete disregard for portion control) Nom nom nom. (mouth noises)

Before this I was lying on the sofa listening to Zero Hour narrated by RC Bray, book five of the Expeditionary Force series. I’m not very far into it, but already I see its following the same formulaic linear progression of the previous books. Which is really quite sad, because I loved the first two books. Especially Columbus Day, which pivoted so fantastically half way through with the introduction of Skippy (the magnificent). Unfortunately Craig Alanson has decided to make hay while the sun shines and churn out this series for as long as possible. I’d like to say who am I to judge. But I’m being totally judgemental about this.


William Tucker, Amazon Customer, you sir are a liar and scallywag. And should we ever meet I should like to cuff you with my leather glove. Unless of course you happen to be a hulking behemoth with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu… in which case I’d like to defer our engagement until after I retrieve either a very pointy stick or some double-oh-buck. (yes, I realise I spelt it phonetically)

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The other audiobook I downloaded was this…


Which follows the story of the creators of Doom. Arguably (along with Wolfenstein 3D) one of the defining games of my era and the primordial soup that spawned… well… people watching other people play Call of duty on Youtube.

Masters of Doom is read by Wil Wheaton, which… in all honesty, put me off initially and made me a little intractable about listening to it. It’s not that I dislike Wil Wheaton. But I don’t exactly like him either. I don’t think anyone should test the social dynamic by trapping us in an elevator together.

Fortunately some rave reviews tipped me in the right direction. I’m glad they did because I’m really enjoying it so far. To Wil Wheaton’s credit, he reads really well so I feel I should apologize for my previous calciferous-ness. (Is that a real word?) I think I mean recalcitrant. Joey opens google. So yeah, I definitely mean recalcitrance (ha ha) and not producing calcium carbonate. (Even after considerable thought I can’t make that work) Perhaps if I’d spent more time reading and less time playing video games and masturbating I would have known that. (only occasionally at the same time)

You know what I find weird about America? I realise this is not exactly a smooth segue into my my next paragraph. BUT… there are no electric kettles. Initially I thought this was only happened in hotel rooms… But then I found out there are hardly any electric kettles ANYWHERE. I find this genuinely disconcerting, almost like a mirror world Fringe experience.

Our electric kettle decided to commit suicide yesterday. So we’ve been reduced to using the stove top kettle to boil water.


Seriously. I’m growing old here. Also Kurt Cobain would have turned 51 today. If he hadn’t blown his head off with a shotgun. This blogpost may be developing an underpinning theme.

I think it’s because Americans don’t drink tea. Which might be a American war of independence thing. I’ve spent the whole day thinking about it and it’s the only thing I could come up with. I also briefly spent some time picking my nose and  wondering why my navel lint is always blue.

ALSO my daughter sunk her teeth into another kid at playgroup again today. ‘Take my stacking blocks and will maim you chick!’ Another day, another incident report. I think that brings us up to five. (vaguely I wonder what the record is, not that I’m competitive, just curious)

Ok, I’m competitive. I mean if you’re 5-0 on the playground and you’re not even two yet? This is why my wife has the serious conversations about social norms and I just stand there looking stern. My speech would have been ‘Seriously, those other kids are dirty and you don’t know where they’ve been…’ ‘Do you really want to put that in your mouth?’.


Which as I understand* doesn’t really get to the crux of the matter.

*I don’t really understand, but agree that my notions and firmly held convictions are waived under certain circumstances.

Bats. et al.

Celebratory post child sleeping coffee run. Double espresso. Which will hopefully shore up the bulwark against the tide of fatigue. I am not hopeful. Years of Redbull abuse has fried my adrenal system to the point where this is more like juice. But it’s more about the sentiment. At least according to the narrative I’ve constructed.

I have a bat swarm* outside my kitchen window. I take a nebulous, ill illuminated picture with my phone in an attempt to illustrate the magnitude of the swarm. It feels like a blurry Blackberry throwback and hardly does the throng justice.

*CR1, AC 16.


For some reason it reminds me of the homemade pornography I made in my twenties. Dark, grainy and relatively amateurish. (only this time no one falls off the bed, or has to stop recording to go find burn gel)

The male termites are making their nuptial flight from their burrows after the rain. Although they might be harvester ants. My working knowledge of arthropods is largely limited to crushing them under boot. Suffice to say all the bats in my suburb are currently clustered in a densely packed transylvanian flavoured dyson sphere around my house.

The soundtrack to this event is ‘Hey diddle, diddle the cat and the fiddle…’ which is playing in the background on Netflix. It will make for an amusing backdrop if I have to make a dash for the crucifix* in my go-bag (and the garlic from in amongst the onions) and fight off a pale Romanian Boyar with a penchant for O+.

*what you don’t carry religious iconography incase SHTF? Talk about not covering all the bases. I’m just kidding, my go-bag is basically hollow points and chocolate bars. How does the old adage go? You can have never have enough ammunition. Unless…  you’re drowning…. or on fire. Or going through TSA.

To tell you the truth this is not how I imagined my transformative Batman experience going. Glaringly absent is Michael Caine in an English cut chasing me down with a dark green smoothie and dispensing paternal advice about how I’m pushing myself too hard (fighting crime or playing playstation or whatever)

If someone can just point me in the direction of the comment cards, I’d like to complain to the manager.