Thursday, December 20, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Against Western protests the Japanese are setting sail for the Antartica to hunt for Humpback whales which up to now they have refrained from slaughtering. However, as they have decided that the whale population has recovered enough to warrant a managed catch they are going to include Humpbacks so that they can 'study' and therefore help 'preserve' them... yeah right, in their stomachs?
The Japanese kill more than 1,000 whales a year in the Antarctic and also the Pacific Ocean utilising a loophole in the 1986 international moratorium that allows catching whales for 'research'. Only Norway and Iceland defy the moratorium outright.
But this year, Japan is expanding the catch to harpoon 50 humpback whales.
They also plan to kill 50 fin whales -- the world's second largest animal after blue whales -- as well as 850 smaller minke whales.
It will be the first time that Japan has hunted humpback whales since an international moratorium on the species took effect in 1966 due to overhunting. The former Soviet Union also defied the moratorium through the 1980s.
I drive a Mazda 6 and will probably change my car next spring for a new one, I will definately NOT be buying another Japanese one, I know this is a small token of protest but if more people spoke out perhaps Japan would wake up and smell the reek of disapproval that only they seem oblivious of.
If you want to lodge a complaint then this is a link to the London Embassy for Japan :- Link
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Bah! that'll teach me to be more accurate with what I'm writing. However, I'm going to post the five questions anyway and see if he responds, they are all profound, thought-provoking and are here:
1/ Joe, if you had the power to ban one single type of garment worn by humans on the earth today, which would you choose?
2/ Joe, have you ever tried lighting one of your farts? If yes, why? If no, why not?
3/ Joe, if Megatron had a fight with Godzilla who do you think would win?
4/ Joe, if you were chosen to be the first human to meet an alien that had landed on Earth would you prefer to take a Desert Eagle Automatic with you are a Welcome to Earth sign?
5/ Joe, have you ever had a back, sack and crack wax? If yes, was it all you imagined it to be? If no would you consider having it done?
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Can Cooper stay sober enough to extricate himself ?
Can he save his girlfriend from a physcopath?
You’d think if anyone of all people could have seen it coming it would have been a guy blessed with the ability to imagine oneself as another person or even feel that other person’s emotions. That guy that could thereby foresee the probable outcome of the other person’s actions before they occurred.
Well, you would, wouldn’t you? I’d think so too and usually I do foresee these actions. Nevertheless, when you see me trussed up like this – and bear in mind its not even Christmas yet so the possibility that I’m impersonating a turkey awaiting the oven should be discounted – then it doesn’t leave many alternatives to think about, does it?
Oh, now you are thinking, perhaps he’s a sadomasochist. He’s the type who gets off being wrapped to one of the support legs of Mumbles Pier with industrial strength cling film whilst the incoming tide laps gently around his crotch and his friend’s little dog – which he was taking care of – has been thrown into the water with a brick attached to its collar. Or you might think he’s the type who enjoys being told that his girlfriend has been made to swallow a stomach full of rat-poison-filled condoms, wrong again. Could I be filming the next James Bond Blockbuster? Check it out. Is that a camera over there? Is it capturing the simulated horror upon my face as I act out Bond’s cliff-hanging opening scene as a scantily clad, nubile young woman surfaces between my legs with a wicked smile and a knife between her teeth then cuts through the wrapping and saves me?
Then roll the opening captions!
Some human beings have the capacity – some say through a gift, I say through a bloody curse – by means of a sophisticated and imaginative process, to be able to place themselves in another human being’s position and therefore sense how they feel, act, or react. This capacity, whether or not you want to go with the ‘gift’ word usually has its roots set deep within the recipient from an early age, and through time, develops as its host matures, regardless of the fact if the owner of this gift nurtures it or denies it. Don’t ask me how it works. I don’t have a clue, but work it does. Perhaps the ‘gifted’ have that little extra which normal humans lack. I’m not talking about magic or anything like that. No, I like to think it’s more along the lines of recognizing emotions in others on a finer scale than ‘normal people’. Perhaps we see facial expressions, body movements, even the tone of a voice; I’d even go as far as saying the way a person smells can give the likes of someone like me an insight into how that person is feeling inside and how he or she will react to certain stimuli. So, if you want me to put a finger on what it is I do, or perhaps feel, then I can’t answer you because it’s just as much a of mystery to me now as it was twenty-something years ago when it first manifested itself.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t wandered around all this time in the dark not understanding or seeking to understand why I’m different. I’ve been prodded and poked by the best. Doctors, psychiatrists, priests, you name ‘em, I’ve been poked by ‘em. They all more or less come out with the same word for me.
My name is Cooper Jones, and I’m an empath. Oh, and yes, the water is now up around my neck and I am going to start drowning soon.
I told you I was empathic…
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
However, I had a bit of luck with a competition in The Guardian by winning a runner-up prize in a Neil Gaiman comp of a copy of his film tie-in book 'Stardust', received the confirmation email today from Becky Fincham, Publicity Manager for Headline Publishing Group.
Thanks Guardian and Headline :)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
And the other good news is I had a set of four SF/SFF haiku printed in Hahaku a collection of senryu-scifaiku with a smile, edited by Teri Santitoro and published by Sam's Dot Publishing, and best of all I got paid for them! A free copy of the little book and $5.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The recent news that Big Ben will be silent for four to six weeks brought to mind a poem of mine which features the old clock and as I haven't posted a poem or short story here in a while I thought I'd put this one up for perusal.
Big Ben tolls the sombre voice of midnight
Big Ben tolls the sombre voice of midnight,
Awakens pigeons from their slumber.
Invites dank fog which follows roiling tide,
Up the River Thames, creeping, seeking.
Tendrils of misty vapour climb embankments,
Explore abutments of silent bridges,
Reach into gas-lamp illumed alleyways.
Which concede to its grasp and darken.
As the last knell fades into oblivion
So too does the sparkle of life in her eyes.
The mist reaches her now, inquisitive, pervading.
But to her, the dewy blanket comes as a friend.
Gently it covers the once warm, now still form,
Whose last movement is but the slowing,
Dripping, coagulating pool of blood, whose steam
Joins it fellow vapour, and explores onwards.
It writhes now, as he stands, wipes the tool of his handiwork,
And returns the blade to the leather doctor’s bag.
He surveys his great masterpiece.
A pique of displeasure crosses his face,
As London’s smog, in its shame, tries to hide his art.
Far off a shrill whistle sounds; a shutter closes.
Her whimpered cry, even though stifled, had found ears.
With a last, longing look, he turns; black cloak swirls, churns,
Her wispy blanket, parts, saddened to show what he called art,
What she called terror and unbearable pain,
The police, in their ignorance, shall call it ‘A Mystery’
History writes… ‘Jack the Ripper’s first victim’.
He leaves now, trailed by the mist too frail to hold him.
It condenses on the gaunt metal railings,
On the shimmering gas-lamp; it turns to tears that fall on her face
Only the fog knows him; but it can do nothing, but weep.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
With the help of my late father-in-law, Tony Rinaldi, we jury-rigged a tripod hoist in my garage and with a great deal of effort and luck managed to get the engine into the car. It wasn’t long before the straight four TR2 power unit was rumbling away sweetly, a great note and throaty roar burbled its way out of the straight-through exhaust system and woke all the neighbours up.
The first test drive was around the little estate I live on and within days the car was ready for its first M.O.T. in decades. It passed first time. We had a lot of fun with the Doretti even though we never did any long distance driving in her. It’s strange, but after spending all that time and money on the car it worried me each time I took her out! I hated each stone chip, each damned fly that spattered against the paintwork, heaven forbid if someone scratched or bumped her! Even when I cleared most of the rubbish out of my single garage it was a struggle getting her in and out and I wondered how the hell I had ever managed to restore her in such a confined space, needs must, I suppose.
When the time came to the parting of our ways it was a sad but also happy moment (although to look at the photo of me with the money you’d be hard pressed to see the happy part!), sad because the car had been such a big part of my life for quite a few years, but happy because I knew it was going to a good home, Jill Royle, the daughter of one of the owners of an original Doretti dealership. In 2000 Jill sold STT 24 to Eddy de Heus of Loosdrecht in Holland to make room for an extremely rare Doretti Mk2 (HRF 60). As far as I know, Eddy, who is a passionate Doretti collector still has STT 24 and I was extremely pleased to see that he’d even taken the car on a jaunt through the Dordogne. Although I never got to drive her to exotic places like that I feel that a part of me is still with her, bonne chance STT 24…
Thursday, July 26, 2007
of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate.
rather poor or inferior.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Here's the link to the Whispers one: Story
Here's an updated page from Screaming Dreams with a couple of reviews and a shopping cart thingy for anyone who'd like to order a copy of 'Flames' (signed by Steve and me) you'll have to click on paperback books and navigate to the correct page, couldn't link directly, Steve's been tweaking his site.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
What a bloody week, I just hope things have reached their peak now and normality looms large on the horizon!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Next thing that went wrong was ordering too much Chinese from the takeaway, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, but being a generous bloke I thought I'd share out the remains with my two faithful hounds, they both gobbled it up. However, late last night I awoke to the sound of projectile vomiting (good job they had elected to sleep in the conservatory instead of on the bed) however, Nia, the biggest, was on the settee and managed to pebble dash it, all the cushions, a large part of the wall, the floor and my other dog. I had to hose most of the stuff off and then chucked it all into the washine machine again, I've got a feeling the washing machine doesn't like me because it wouldn't start, then it wouldn't bloody open either for me to get the vomit-covered stuff out. I threatened it with the sweeping brush which caused Nia to vomit again, this time in the kitchen and it worked. So all clean again but I wonder what next adventure lies in wait for me? Think I'll do the ironing....
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I'm a bachelor for a couple of weeks whilst the wife visits relatives in Italy so I'm doing all the things I get told off about doing when she's here, for example, I'm eating all those rubbishy ready-made foods which all Italian wives frown at. You know the ones, they tempt you even though you know there's more goodness in the packaging than in the product. I've let the dogs sleep on the bed! I've 'pruned' runaway bushes in the garden (which I'm not allowed to touch) (they could be dead now) shhh... I've taken up a 10 day free trial of World of Warcraft (Burning Crusade add-on) and resurrected my level 60 Warrior - Cormac - yeah, yeah I'm a fan of Neal Asher - and am clicking away killing mobs, npcs, other players (Horde characters) though mostly I'm getting my arse handed to me as I'm not as quick as youngsters that play this game, there should be bonuses for old giffers like me...
I've had Classic FM rattling my windows with my Hi-Fi turned up to OUCH! When I've had time to watch the telly I've watched programs I like! Sheesh, now when I look at it all it seems pretty mundane stuff, where are the parties? Where are the strippers? Where are the kegs of beer? I must be getting old... Oh well, time for dinner, now let's see, will it be that Chinesy thingy with all the coloured bits in or that weird-looking curry? Hmm... or I could pop around to the pub and have a steak and a pint...
Sunday, June 17, 2007
The adaptation by Stephen Briggs was as good as I expected (already seen one by him before) All cast members gave a good performance and Brian Willis was outstanding as Mr.Pin, one of the hit-men, in fact I thought he was too good, makes you wonder what his day job is...
I'd really have liked to have taken some photos but it wasn't allowed, oh well...
Friday, June 08, 2007
Ok, perhaps a bit misleading, Terry himself isn't coming but one of his books is being brought to life on the stage of The Dylan Thomas Theatre between June 12th and June 16th, performances start at 7.30pm and tickets are £7 each (I think there are concessions though)
The play being performed is The Truth which is Terry's 25th novel and deals with the first Disc World Newspaper.
Brian Willis (Hideous Progeny, Scorpion etc) is playing the part of Mr.Pin one of the psycho hit men and if the play is anything like the last Disc World one I saw at this venue then the audience is in for a good time.
Adapted by Stephen Briggs
Directed by Lianne Halliday
Hopefully I'll be attending the Friday evening performance and going for a pint afterwards in the pub across the road.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
First thing to do was power wash the whole thing to try and get rid of the dog poo smell. It didn’t work; the bloody thing seemed to be ingrained into the metal. I tried to leave most of the car outside on nice days, just to air it. Even took the partially stripped chassis to Singleton Park in Swansea where they have a Classic Car Show in May. It brought many enquiring people to its side, mostly asking what the smell was…
With the car dismantled and the engine sent off to be stripped down and examined by a professional -- I know my limits-- I began to do what I could in my single garage. The chassis was in very good condition, due to the aforementioned chrome-molybdenum steel which doesn’t rust. Superficial dirt and detritus was wire-brushed off and soon bright metal showed underneath. This was rust-proofed (just in case) and then the chassis was painted with black Hammerite (great stuff). The chassis out-riggers were mild steel and they had to be cut off and new ones made up and welded on. I treated myself to a MIG welder and found out the hard way never to weld lying down with the weld seam dropping bits of red hot metal down your neck. The inner body shell was also mild steel and so were the floors which had rotted away completely. Fortunately enough, TR2 floors were very similar in shape and were available as new parts. Two were ordered and fitted, with some adjustments made. Other pieces were cut back to sound metal and new panels and pieces were let in. Steering was TR2 so all those parts were renewed as was suspension. The petrol tank was mild steel and was like a sieve, however it was used as a template and I had an engineering company make me a new one in stainless steel, you can see my old Jack Russell guarding it in one of the photos (gone now btw, great dog he was). Ohh! The red car on the cover of the magazine near the tank is… yes, a Doretti.
The doors were pretty sound, but the skins were in bad shape, so I chiselled them off and once again used them as templates for new ones. They were made in mild steel, even though all other outer panels were aluminium, because of the possibility of them taking knocks during their lifetime, aluminium although being light and rust-proof is very easy to dent. Ahh, I said rust-proof, well actually is does rust but in its own way. I think perhaps it’s some kind of oxidisation, or whatever the term is, because where the panels fitted to the mild steel body there was a weakening and even holing of the metal. I was told this is due to some sort of electric charge that happens between the two metals; perhaps it’s true, too technical for me. Where necessary this was patched and strengthened by a professional aluminium welder, again something that a specialist needed to do.
At last the car began to take shape. The mild steel inner body had been bead-blasted and primed, pieces added and primed and finally offered up to the chassis and it all fitted very well indeed.
The inner bodywork I painted myself in my garage as much of it wouldn’t be seen anyway. Then the outer skin went on. Once again it went together much better than I imagined. By now I had received the re-built engine (crank reground, new bearings, four new piston liners, four new pistons, new valves, head skimmed etc etc) so I had fitted it in place before putting the body on, however the body slotted over with no problem. It was only later that I realised the engine couldn’t stay in situ because the bloody engine bay was going to be sprayed with the rest of the car… everyone say d’oh!
And so STT 24 began looking like a car again, petrol tank went in, I started trying to find a source for a new windscreen (old one was cracked) and took the seats to an old guy in Swansea who did car re-upholstery, also took him the old hood which was so moth-eaten it had begun to look worse than my bank balance…
Next instalment will be added sometime soon. How will the re-spray turn out? Where will I get a wiring loom from? How the hell am I going to get the engine back into the engine bay without a crane? Why does my bank manager want to see me?
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Only about 290 were made and many of those went abroad, mine was chassis number 1181. Dorettis have an aluminium skin over steel frame and a chrome-molybdenum chassis which was very, very strong. The running gear and engine was TR2 1998 cc straight four. If I've imbedded a flash slideshow correctly you should see some photos of the car before restoration work took place. Over the next few days I'll update the blog with more photos of how the restoration went and how the car finally turned out. As you can see, when I started the work I still had my hair...
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
That once so flowed with lustrous hair
You betray me with your flashing beam
That startles horses when I’m seen
Those lovely locks so careless shed
Found on my pillow and not on head
I mourned them all as their life did wane
And swirled round sink, disappeared down drain
“Comb over” I tried, to hide the loss
Made jokes of rolling stone and moss
But in my room I cried alone
When finally threw out my faithful comb
And shaved off the last few failing strands
That clung to scalp with desperate hands
Then heard the words I do most hate
As my daughter slapped my naked pate.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
UPDATE: Amazon has it listed here
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Whispers of Wickedness, an online, and printed magazine of Dark Atmospheric Art and Fiction have appointed me as their Poetry Editor. Their original poetry editor John Saxton has gone AWOL it seems, so for the time being I've taken on the position. Let's hope I prove to be up to the challenge!
Whispers of Wickedness
Sunday, March 04, 2007
The name chosen for this distinguised collection of people is SOUTHWALESFANTASISTS and it can be found on http://groups.yahoo.com/ . As suggested by the title of this post, it is populated by only the brightest stars in the Welsh SF/F/Horror heavens, okay, there might be a black-hole or two and a stray brown dwarf, but as they say, that is another story....
Thursday, March 01, 2007
March 1st in Wales is our patron saint's day, St. David. It's a day when most of Wales's natives can be seen out wearing our national flower in their lapel, the daffodil. It's the time of year when minds turn to springtime and the promise of summer. Our daffodils with their yellow nodding heads seem to confirm that winter is almost over.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Flames of Herakleitos
Saturday, February 17, 2007
|I am: |
Frank HerbertHis style is often stilted, but he created what some consider the greatest SF novel of all time.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The first Youwriteon Book Of The Year has been announced and my hearty congratulations goes to UK's Guy Saville for his story, The Africa Reich. Second place went to Patricia J. Delois and third to Michael Alan. YWO also decided to make a children's book award and first place for that went to, H.J.Windsor, second place to S.Star and third to Bob Burke, congrats to everyone listed and good luck with placing your stories.
Flames of Herakleitos was in contention but once agreements were made with Steve Upham of Screamingdreams that the book would be published by him it had to be withdrawn.
YWO has proven to be a great help to all budding novelists. Feedback from the writers who contribute has been outstanding and, in my case, a great help in smoothing out kinks in the plot, grammatical errors etc. The site boasts a hell of a lot of hits per month which demonstrates its popularity and best of all, IT'S ALL FREE! so get over there now and take a look!
There is some blurb on the BBC page too and here's a link:
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Editing the damn thing is scary though, I'm on my third PDF from Steve and hopefully the last. It's really surprising how you still come across errors even after reading through your manuscript loads and loads of times. I think the writer must see things more in his mind than what is actually on the page and accepts what he thinks is right even though the text is actually wrong. For example I found I put from instead of form, yet I must have skipped over that mistake at least a dozen or more times. Oh well, fingers crossed, this might be the last edit...
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Well had a nice surprise tonight watching The Lost Room. It went out on Sky One and I quite enjoyed it. It looks as if there will be a conclusion too as there are only 3 episodes, which is refreshing. I could never get into Lost and glad that I didn't, too many damn episodes and still no-where near what it's all about... or so I've been told.
Anyway back to The Lost Room, written or created by Christopher Leone - Laura Harkcom - Paul Workman - don't know of any of them but I'll certainly be watching the next two episodes, great entertainment.
Joe Miller a detective is searching for Objects to use as tools in rescuing his daughter, Anna, who disappeared inside the Room. These Objects have magical, some say miraculous qualities. The key to the room, for example, it will open any hinged door with a yale-type lock anywhere in the world, turning the door into a portal accessing the room nevermind where that door would open normally. Then when you leave the room, it opens not to where you originally entered from but to any door that the holder of the key has in mind, or to a random door if the user doesn't focus.
This is just one of the Objects shown tonight, others are a pen that can microwave anyone it touches, a nailfile that makes you drop off to sleep and a bus ticket that teleports you to a highway miles away from your original position. Heady stuff and extremely well done, can't wait for the rest!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I've managed to upload a flash powered website which I cobbled together myself, it's still under construction but viewable. Hopefully when I get the ISBN and the Amazon listing etc I can include a purchase link :)
Monday, January 15, 2007
Here's a SF short story of mine, hope you enjoy it.
Dormitory 736 Block C
Sirius Orbiter 4
My dear Professor Toopha,
Many thanks for you recent correspondence; I am well, thank you, and so is my symbiant. I hope this finds you and yours in good health too.
As you will see from my enclosed holograph crystal; the project you gave me is reaching a major point in its evolution. However, I feel it only fair to warn you that things are not going as well as I had hoped.
Although the image that you are looking at now seems to portray the Earth in my study-room as being in a stable condition it is far from being so.
As you well know the Pre-Cambrian era went very well and the cooling down process and the forming of the oceans was spectacular, I stayed up overnight just to watch the incredible fire-work display.
The Palaeozoic week was pretty boring and that’s why I didn’t send you footage of that particular period, the only thing I found of interest was when the fish left the water and became land animals.
My favourite was definitely the Mesozoic era, especially the dinosaurs. I was really impressed with them; the birth of the small mammals interested me too but I had no idea at the time the importance of what I was witnessing.
I feel at this point that I should apologise on behalf of my friend Pleeba Delmot. That evening we had both been out partying and when he was incapable of finding his own dorm I foolishly allowed him to stay at mine.
It was only the next morning I found out that he had poked his tentacle into the globe and had caused the vast climate change which lead to the extinction of so many species. It’s rather a pity as I am sure that the dinosaurs had real potential. Please accept his apologies; he was under the influence and not aware of what he was doing.
Finally, as you know from the footage I’ve already sent, we are in the Cenozoic era and I can’t help but wonder if Pleeba’s tentacle has caused more trouble than we first imagined. Let me tell you why.
Around the Cretaceous period of the Cenozoic era, just about the time of, shall we say “Pleeba’s Event”; I noticed a new species emerge. We named them mammals. Normally I don’t think these little creatures would have lasted all that long. Most just provided a nourishing snack for the smaller species of carnivorous dinosaur; but the “Event” took place and the dinosaurs just couldn’t adapt to the climate change. But believe it or not Professor, the little mammals did!
During the Tertiary period of this era they evolved in leaps and bounds. That was about a week ago for us, millions of years for the little planet.
One particular species, the primates, became quite ingenious. Even with the handicap of only an opposable thumb instead of tentacles they soon started to use tools; this was something that no other creature had done before. Now, here is where it begins to get scary.
Within a matter of days, these primates had begun to develop quite an intelligence; I was amazed. Their technology even made me have to install dampening fields around the globe as their emissions were beginning to disrupt my music system next door!
Finally, they even attempted to leave the globe itself and therefore I had to vector into the system a mass hypnotic state to make them believe that they are really living within a genuine universe. Now they think that their machines have even left the planet to explore their solar system and more. Many of these beings, that we named Man by the way, imagine that some of them have actually visited a small, nearby satellite which they have named the Moon!
However, I fear by the time you read this, the project will be over. I thought the dinosaurs were violent but these little biped humans are incredibly vicious.
Not only do they kill, and I don’t mean just for consumption or preservation, the lower species with no regard whatsoever, but they also slaughter themselves on the slightest whim!
For example; they have this thing called War; which I first mistakenly took for some kind of sport, but it is far from it. They have wiped out billions and billions of their kind with this strange act. But that is not all; they do not seem to be content with destroying themselves and every other living creature on the globe. They have now invented thermo-nuclear devices and the planet is absolutely littered with them. It seems they are now attempting to destroy the globe itself!
I tell you my dear Professor, this is the best project you have given me yet; I only wish it was not reaching the end so soon. This has been one of the most enjoyable months I have spent here in Pleiades University. I had hoped that you would get back in time to see the little planet in my study-room before it is too late; but I fear within the next few hours the creatures called Man will succeed and destroy both themselves and the fragile world before you return.
With this in mind I beg you to procure another “Grow your own Earth” kit from the University Supplier as I would dearly like to see what happens when the dinosaurs evolve alongside the mammals.
However, this time I think I will keep Pleeba well away from my study!
Your most humble student,