in the lands of the north, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of the northlands sit round their great log fires, and they tell a tale

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I went to the theatre this evening, and it looked something like the picture above. It was a production of the first two Noggin the Nog stories – for those unfamiliar, a series by the team behind Ivor the Engine, in a similar style, but somewhat less likely to make me cry1 but about a Viking prince instead of a Welsh train. The adaptation to the stage conveyed very well the tone, and there were very good imitations of the voices, especially of the animal characters. The physical manifestations of the characters varied – sometimes they were represented by the actors, sometimes by puppets and sometimes by the archive footage of the show projected on screen – or a combination of several, as appropriate. The four actors did a good job switching in and out these modes – and their various costumes, to play all the roles required of them, which provided some good laughs in a show already full of them. It was slightly more pantomime-y than the source, but that’s a function of the change of medium, and worked well, especially for Nogbad’s appearances. It was all very pleasant and entertaining, and the kids all seemed to enjoy themselves too. It’s showing today and tomorrow as part of the Brighton Festival, but is apparently touring, so it might be possible to catch elsewhere.

Continue reading in the lands of the north, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of the northlands sit round their great log fires, and they tell a tale

save yourself, save this town, save everything not nailed down

There’s a video for one of the best songs from the new Mountain Goats album, and it’s really really good. It contains some wrestling references that I recognised were references but went completely over my head, but it still manages to be terrifically amusing. There’s a story to go with it, too (yeah, that Chavo Guerrero guy is real, turns out!). You should listen to the rest of the album too – it’s similarly excellent. Fire Editorial is probably my favourite song on there, chiefly because it has some nice chord sequences.

Over and out.


There’s a weird state I enter under certain circumstances – about to nod off for a nap or still woozy from having just woken up, and it being evening, twilight-to-dark. Time passes differently, everything seems a bit dreamlike and disconnected. We recorded a podcast earlier, and having gone into a food-induced coma in the early evening, I woke up a few minutes before Josef rang the doorbell, and lay there in the quiet. It’s peaceful there. It induces a peculiar emotional state, too, a slight melancholy edge. It’s quite a specific feeling that I associate with some songs, this being the most recent one I can think of. I suspect it’s at least partly to do with the use of clarinet. I’m not sure really.

Over and out.


Jeremy Keith has a thing about folks who say that the Internet never forgets stuff. He says that they’re wrong, and moreover that in being wrong they shift focus away from efforts to preserve things. I’m pretty convinced by this, to an extent. It’s definitely true of social networks, for example, but other stuff I’m not so sure about.

Continue reading elephants


Longer than usual podcast edit today because Logic decided to crash when I was almost done, and the file got corrupted, so I had to drag the audio from the burning wreckage. New episode will be here tomorrow lunchtime, for now I have no energy and I’m going to get some sleep before I go b as in boy, 2 as in the number, w as in walrus tomorrow. It’s raining very heavily outside, though, and I have the window open. For a few minutes, I’m going to turn off the lights and enjoy the cool and the breeze and the occasional raindrop. Over and out.


Nodding off as I write this – I’m midway through a thing on Game of Thrones, but I can’t keep my eyes open so I’ll finish it tomorrow. Over and out.


Podcast started very, very late due primarily to some tedious, still-unresolved technical issues. As a consequence, now I’ve sat down to write this it’s almost one. I’m not doing another link post, but I will do two actual, real posts on Saturday. This is just an fyi for my regular readers (all two of you). For now, my eyes are refusing to focus on the screen. Over and out.

entry-level freedom of speech stuff

Someone on Twitter earlier was making some… uninformed statements about an autoblocking system (it allows people to pool their ability to block people, which might be useful if you’d, e.g. become the target of a group who had tremendous concern for ethics in games journalism) to the effect of “it’s violating my freedom of speech”. He further suggested that people in the UK might try and find a solicitor(!) to have it shut down(!!!). Maybe he should have consulted with the bad biscuit man, who I’m given to understand has legal qualifications (and a prodigious IQ to boot).

Continue reading entry-level freedom of speech stuff