Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Dear Reader,

The peaceful tranquillity of our humble abode will sometimes be shattered by a knock on the door. On the other side of the door will be a visitor. Visitors come in two categories, those that are welcome and those that are not so welcome. 

The Welcomes:
  • The Postman (who, incidentally is a woman, perhaps I should use Postperson from now on?) - weighed down with Dear Lady Wife's latest purchase in her ongoing quest to try every piece of clothing ever produced in her size.
  • The Postperson (2) - weighed down with Dear Lady Wife's latest purchase in her ongoing quest to try every pair of shoes ever produced in her size.
  • The Postperson (3) - holding a box the contains that latest in a long list of frivolous purchases by my good-self. Recently I bought a fridgepet, now everytime I open the fridge door I get greeted in Japanese. I feel compelled to respond in kind, even if I have a hangover. If you don't believe me see the demo below...

  • Pizza delivery people - Well, anyone who brings us food actually.
  • Friends - thought I better mention them to avoid offence.
  • Cats - obviously.
The not-so Welcomes:
  • Children - normally saying "Can I have me ball back?" Is it wrong to say "no, but you are welcome to come round for the ceremonial burning this evening when we offer the ball as a sacrifice to Lord Voldemort?" 
  • People selling things - this situation is not as bad as it used to be, as text messaging is more efficient and infinitely more irritating. If the dude that sent me 43 text messages (normally in the middle of the night) asking if I had been in an accident that was not my fault would like to come round and discuss, well, I may be involved in an accident that is very much my fault. If you wanted evidence that the Devil is alive, well and having a blast then look no further.
  • People selling ideas - whether they be political, or worse.
Having run through the possibilities I have, finally, come to the point of this post. We had a visitor the other day, it was a Sunday, during the day, which eliminates all the welcomes except cats, but they generally don't knock. I am greeted with two very pleasant, earnestly smiling people. I can tell immediately that these people are selling ideas. I begin the mental preparation required for this sternest of doorstep tests.

"Have you ever thought about why we are here?" asks the earnestly smiling man nearest the door. Questions, they always have questions. "Erm, I haven't got time for this." I mumble, weakly.
"That's fine," says earnestly smiling man, radiating even greater levels of earnestness whilst passing me a pamphlet, "why don't you take this and consider the purpose of life?" 

At this point I am tempted to quote renowned theologian and philosophical thinker 50 Cent and respond with the immortal words "Get rich or die tryin'" but the moment has already passed and I close the door. Another opportunity missed.

So, to the pamphlet, there is always a pamphlet. Like most pamphlets, it has a front cover, a back cover, there are pages in between, those pages are covered in words, those words are arranged in such a way as to form sentences and those sentences have been arranged into paragraphs. Don't be fooled into thinking that makes it sensible and logical though. The arrangement of the words may hold up to grammatical inspection, but that is the last test these words will pass.

And then there are the pictures... There is always something not quite right about pictures in these pamphles. Some examples are required...

Oh good, keep it up.

Not sure which box I should tick...

I think there are a couple of things which should be in the top 20 which are missing. Maybe there is a revision.

Good news, as long as you do.

Cool, I should be able to get it at McDonalds soon then.
I think you get the idea.  In summary, I think I passed the sternest of doorstep tests, this time. Next time I may show weakness, or I may invite them in, or their hypnotic stare may take me to a processing facility in Delaware. In two years time I may be the earnestly smiling gentleman on the doorstep, posing the millenia old question "what is the purpose of life?"

More soon Dear Reader


PS: Thank you to I Found God on the Subway for the last four images above, well worth a look.

Monday, 7 May 2012

A-Z Reflections - #atozchallenge

Dear Reader,

Now the A to Z challenge is over, I've had a little sleep, it was long overdue. Now I am awake again. It seems I spent quite a lot of time during this challenge bemoaning how difficult this was. Some of my friends have pointed out that if I had planned in advance this would have been so much easier. One of these friends is still in intensive care. Apparently getting a flea out of your ear can be quite serious if it has been buried deep enough. Anyhoo...

The Dear Lady Wife has been affected as well. She was often to be found rocking on the sofa knitting A-Z Widow paraphernalia during this task. As a result I have four pairs of mittens, (size: random), two sweaters (size: too large for a human), twelve beanie hats (size: well, not exactly head-size) and a number of other barely started knitting objet d'art. Search for A-ZWidowShop.ebay.co.uk  and see how you get on. She has stopped swaying now and more importantly she has stopped knitting, thank [insert major deity here].

It is only right to thank the people who organized this madness and as a result started me upon it:

 Arlee Bird and his A-Z Team, a big thanks goes out to them! 

Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh), Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas), Coming Down The Mountain (Karen Jones Gowen), Life is Good (Tina Downey), Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins), Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons), The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence), The QQQE (Matthew MacNish), Author Elizabeth Mueller (Elizabeth Mueller), No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow), Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson), Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp).

An extra special thanks to Jenny Pearson who found the time to pop over and comment whilst undoubtedly doing this for many other blogs as well.

As previously stated, I seem to be a little negative about this whole experience. I don't mean to be. It was hard (for me) but that doesn't mean it wasn't good. If you considered this year and refused, or are considering next year for whatever reason expect some changes to your world. Stats may be required:
  • Visitors per month - doubled my highest month ever. Thank you all.
  • Followers via Google Connect - gained twenty-seven during the month, welcome aboard. I had twenty-five previously so doubled again.
  • Followers via Feedburner - a difficult stat as it seems to go up and down based on some metric that i don't really fully understand. All I know is that I look at a nice graph for the last 30 days it was about a third higher than it was at the start of the month. So, welcome to you as well.
  • Comments - Oh the joy of comments. My dear little diatribe had received fifty comments in the best part of two years. Add another hundred for the last month. All from lovely people too, thank you every one for taking the time.
Whatever the reason you have for writing stuff down, one of the stats above may mean something to you. It is not all about stats though, it is about connecting, which is why the comments stat means so much to me.

On a personal note I posted more things in one month that I did in my first two years of blogging. Which means I have learnt something, although I am not sure what. Once I have worked out what that thing is I will be sure to report to you what it is, if I remember.

More soon Dear Reader


PS: There isn't actually any knit wear for sale, that bit was made-up. Sorry.