Things That Go Beep in the Night

White Elephant in the Room

elephant_gpsLike Pavlov’s dog, every time I hear a beep my hand moves reflexively to my smartphone. I quickly thumb through my recent alerts to find the source of the notification and find closure only when I’ve tapped away all the unopened emails, unread messages and unchecked updates. But sometimes, my phone stares blankly back at me, and I realize that little beep didn’t come from where I’d thought.

The other evening, I was winding down my day with a little laundry, dishwashing, and a few follow up notes on a project when I heard a beep. Phone number one was unfruitful so I glanced at phone number two. When it, too, showed no signs of life I checked IM on my work laptop, then Skype on my personal laptop, and then the mystery got deeper. I checked the dishwasher, the dryer, the alarm system – all to no avail. Then…

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White Noise – Living with an Anxiety Disorder

I was in two minds as to whether I should post this topic which has been gnawing at me for a while. It’s got all the right elements for controversy – mental illness, vitriol, and a rather scathing critique of how it’s all handled in the UK at the moment, both socially and medically – but fuck it, I may as well go all in. Rather than discuss the matter in a clinical generic style (or to put it another way, get all up my own arse about the situation) I shall start by telling you a story.

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Writer’s Digest Dumps Author Solutions 

David Gaughran

I have some huge news: Writer’s Digest has terminated its partnership with Author Solutions.

Abbott Press – the imprint launched by Writer’s Digest, parent company F+W Media, and white-label vanity press provider Author Solutions – is still operational, but all ties to Writer’s Digest have been cut.

It appears that Abbott Press will now be run directly as yet another Author Solutions brand but Writer’s Digest and F+W Media will have no further connection with it. (If you are unfamiliar with Author Solutions and its awful history, this will bring you up to speed.)

Cached version of Abbott Press showing Writer's Digest links.Cached version showing Writer’s Digest links.

Writer’s Digest and F+W Media refuse to comment, despite being given several opportunities, but I’ve had this news confirmed by multiple sources. As Author Solutions only tends to allow early termination of partnership agreements if the partner signs a series of non-disclosure agreements, a formal announcement or comment is…

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Summer sunshine

Last night, the sun was splitting the sky and the sticky hum of humidity was the rallying call for the Scottish summer to make its appearance. It was 25 degrees and the discomfiting heat was a joy to behold in the wake of the typically dreary UK weather. Summer in our country is my favourite day of the year. With that in mind, I felt my attire for a friend’s birthday barbecue (outside! We can sit outside! In SCOTLAND! And it isn’t raining!) should adequately reflect the season and my resulting jubilant disposition.
Or to put it more simply: HOORAY FOR SUMMER AND SUMMER DRESSES!

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Suzi Reads A Book: The Rosie Project *SPOILERS*

In the midst of being immersed in the sprawling worlds of Westeros and Essos, I picked up The Rosie Project as a mental respite from my second reread of book five of George R. R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice and Fire series. Giddy, swooping fantasy novels have always been my preference, so it was with some trepidation I picked up Graham Simsion’s cheerful debut. I’d been throroughly recommended it by a number of people, and with a slew of five-star reviews on Amazon, I decided it couldn’t hurt to stop playing the game of thrones for a few hours. Continue reading

I’m Not an Alcoholic… Honest

My second wordy post comes from work again. I’m on my break and saddled with a crippling hangover after a quiet dinner-and-drinks session with a friend ended up in us being “politely” asked to leave at 1am after four bottles of wine. On a Wednesday night. When we both had work at 9am the next day. I woke up at 7am in blinding sunshine and 25 degree heat to the sound of two cats fighting and my mother shouting at a bee. I took two paracetamol and went to work. The day started as it meant to go on. Continue reading

Tribute: Casey Kasem

Funk's House of Geekery

I’ve seen a lot of news headlines these past few days lamenting the passing of the American Top 40 host. I had no idea what they were talking about. It’s not my fault, I live in the far off, exotic land of Australia where everything is trying to kill you and people somehow slur their vowels. A line of two into the article they mentioned the real news: Casey Kasem, the voice of Shaggy, has died.

Not that I want to diminish his career as a DJ…as a member of the international audience that work hasn’t reached us. But we sure as hell know who Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers is.

Shaggy-with-Bat-Cookie-scooby-doo-32614964-939-706He’s the one on the left?

Seriously, everyone knows who Shaggy is. Watch this: ‘zoinks’. You read that in his voice, right? The character is an icon of pop culture. Casey Kasem provided the voice to many roles during his hey-day…

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