Country Rankings…How’s yours doing?

Top countiresSo, here are the countries that have visited the site since its inception. The top country, the UK, has had the most site views…strange that, what with most of my friends/family being British….then follows the USA, Canada and through the rest of the countries from left to right, reading like a sentence.

So…can you bump your country up the list?

Can you see your countries flag?

Do you even care/want to?

Are you bothered where your country comes in this graphic and have you seen through my weak attempt to get more views on my site?

Have I just given away my poor attempt at PR?…or…

Are you now actively wondering how you can push your fellow countrymen into viewing what you believe to be the best author/book site ever?

funny-Angry-Hermione-gun-wand

Has the last comment pushed you over the edge and you now think I’m a complete idiot; believing, as I did, that I could persuade YOU into providing free PR.

Are you wishing you stopped reading these inane questions minutes ago… wondering what you will have for dinner whilst concocting a way to kill the supposed friend who got you to view this site…the gullible bas@*&^%

Have you now taken out a contract on me to stop me waffle writing these ridiculous posts and to rid the world of what you believe to be the next devil incarnate?

So you’ve cooked dinner and still reading in the hope that I may have written something worth while…I mean, why else would Jeff from accounts have recommended you visit the site and in particular this page…it’s not as if Jeff dislikes you…is it?

Jeff is your best mate, your pillar when times got bad and you found yourself all alone after she left you. Why in the hell would he recommend this god forsaken site to you?

Jeff hates you.

You’ve just realised you’re not as popular as you thought and sometime in the past you really…REALLY…annoyed Jeff. Why else would he have asked you to view bloody blog?

You’re wondering if it was Jeff that got your girlfriend to leave you. Was it him that told her about the fling with Julie from accounts at the office leadership weekend?

It was, wasn’t it?

Yep.

Sucker!

Why the complete…hang on…how come I know about your sordid past? Well, maybe I’m Jeff mocking you, or maybe I’m your ex, humiliating you before your friends?

Have your friends read this site too?

Oh crap…you told them to. They’re probably on it right now, bumping up your country’s rating so that, soon enough, the whole town will know you’re a complete dooshbag.

Brilliant, just brilliant.

So why couldn’t Jeff/ex have just punched you in the face… and kicked you where no man should be kicked… instead of this embarrassing fiasco?

Revenge.

Alex's rage eventually escalates into violence.

A woman scolded and all that.

Probably shouldn’t have mocked her shoes too.

Yep, that was a mistake, a silly error that you could have done without. I mean, mentioning you thought her shoes were weird, when she asked if you’d been unfaithful.

But it was all you could think of to divert the conversation…that or stating you’d become a Buddhist monk.

Should have gone with the monk idea…too late now.

Suffer!

But you only split up yesterday and the website has been up for months?

Yep, they/we have been planning this for a long time, planning your hook up with Julie, seeding the desire during the Christmas party and then waiting for confirmation that you…wait, there’s a knock at the door, I’ll be right back, hold that thought.

Oh crap, you hired the hitman!

But I have so much to tell you, can’t you just tell him to stop? I have the answers you’ve been after: why you shouldn’t eat yellow snow, how they get those huge ships into those little bottles and why it’s not okay to enjoy listening to Britney Spears whilst wearing a Spiderman outfit and a hockey mask…

Singer Britney Spears was one of the best sell...

Singer Britney Spears was one of the best selling female performers of the 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, wait. I’ll pay you to get him to…

What do you mean this has nothing to do with Jeff and Julie. Listen, if you want to get your country higher up the ranks, then you get me more views…stop hiring villains!

And in other news, it has been discovered that the latest Pope used to be the bass guitarist for Metallica…that’s a lie, I can’t back that up.

Remember…the World need TLC.

Recipe for Fantasy…or should a wand be allowed to talk?

I am writing this today at the bequest of the wand from my book, The Lost Cactus.  The problem is, he is a little upset with the way I’ve depicted him, and has stated that he’d like to change his profile in follow up books…into a sword.

I told him no and that’s when the problems started.

funny-Angry-Hermione-gun-wand

So, the question is, should a wand be able to talk, can I stop him now that he does and will I ever hear the last of it from the wand union?

First of all I need to fill you in on a few details, mainly how I got in to this mess to begin with.

The Recipe for a Good Fantasy Novel…or so I Thought.

When I was younger, yep some time ago in the middle of the Jurassic Period, I began reading the Hobbit, a story which is currently being murdered in the cinemas by an overly long script, a focus on the darker side of the plot and stretching the storyline to breaking point.  Anyway, after reading this wonderful tale, I then, as most others do, went on to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  My heart and mind were in unison…they both loved fantasy and after reading David Eddings and Terry Brooks offerings to the genre, my love for fantasy was set.

Later on in life, around the time man began to walk upright, I read other types of books, non-fiction, historical fiction, crime and conspiracy novels and of course, due to my work, a lot of Tom Clancy…wow, but how good was red Storm Rising and how bad are the Rainbow Six novels in comparison.

Anyway, before I waffle write about my reading past, I must now go onto my writing present.  When I began slowly chiselling out the stones that would begin my opening to TLC…we’re now into the bronze age but I couldn’t afford the papyrus…I wondered what was the correct format for the perfect Fantasy Novel and here’s what I came up with.

1.  A hero/heroine MC of some sort…a dark past essential if you want to go with the gloomy atmosphere.

2. A heroine or gorgeous boyfriend if the MC is the wrong sex…though these days, you can play around with the formula depending on how risky you want to be.

3. An evil, up to no good,  bad guy…probably one of the most fun characters to write if you want to really mess up the reader…think of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs…was he really that bad, or just miss understood?  If you thought the later, you’re one of the messed up readers…he ate people!

4.  A great cast of characters to annoy, please, frustrate and generally try to kill the MC.

5.  An ideal setting, anywhere will do, but it needs depth, believability, and the odd dragon really helps.

6.  A way of preforming the magic…you could use a wand, and this is where my whole heart ache began.

What is a Wand?

J K Rowling used the ubiquitous stick wand, Tolkien, the wonderful staff wand, Eddings an Orb of massive power and King Arthur used a rather large Sword given to him by an ex-girlfriend who hid out in a lake after he dumped her…not a lot of people know about this part of the Arthurian legend as historians have tried to hush it up, but basically he dumped her after she demanded he get rid of the whole castle idea and go more open plan.

So, what type of wand should I go for in my story, the stick, sword or orb.  Well, I thought I could spice it up a bit, make the whole story more modern and …well…he’s not happy about what I chose…to say the least.

The Wand Union Problems

So wandy, I’m not going to use his real name, goes and tells the union and all hell breaks lose.  The next thing I know, I’m being visited by a couple of wands and shown a picture of a wizard who refused to listen to his.  He was subsequently held hostage while the wand union re-negotiated wand rights with the good guys union.

This is the picture they showed me…it made me cold all over.

wand hostage

The poor wizard Dumbledore being held hostage by his wand as negotiations take place.

The big question now is, should I change the wand into a sword as it has requested, or am I just giving in.  My MC has said we should sack him and he’d prefer a gun anyway, especially given the amount of gnomes in the sequel.  The heroine has said I should keep the wand as hers comes in so handy…she has a vanity mirror and I think her ego is starting to get the better of her.  And then I’ve got the whole union thing to deal with.  They say that…

‘a fantasy story needs a wand, one approved by the union and that has recieved all the correct health and magic at work briefings’

 So I’m stuck.  What I really could do with is some advice, but the wizards are avoiding me, other fantasy writers don’t want to get embroiled in this contentious issue and the publishers say it’s my problem, I made him talk, I get him to shut up and play ball.

But a wand can’t play ball…or can he?

Link

Tiger’s Furious Over Census

Tiger Census

With the Indian and Bangladeshi governments committing to a census of tigers in their respective countries, a spokestiger for the soon to be counted, verbally backlashes those involved.  In a hastily drawn up news conference the spokestiger, a huge cat called Tim, asked the press to voice concern over what is being referred to as ‘a gross invasion of tiger privacy’.

When quizzed for more information, the tigers agent, a dwarf called Berty gave a press release and closed the conference quickly when Indian officials quizzed him on a large water pipe burst outside the Taj Mahal.

(recently the dwarf Berty had been involved in the failed attempt to dig the world’s deepest well, giving up when his co-worker, a dog called Ralphy actually filled in the hole and ended up making a mound…strangely, the world’s largest.  Fortunately the mound was washed away.  Unfortunately this was due to a huge water pipe bursting… which was probably due to the dwarfs use of elven explosives in an area with a huge water pipe.  The subsequent mess has since been cleared at huge expense by the Indian Tourist office).

Taj Flood

The press release given by Berty, stated the tigers, his clients, did not like the big brother attitude of the respective goverments and they were worried that it would lead to increased border taxes due to their frequent migration.  They were also worried that privacy laws were being broken and questioned why the lions of Africa, or the tigers of Siberia were not being similarly quizzed.

As the spokestiger ran from the room after his fleeing agent, he shouted out to the reporters, ‘why are we being ridiculed by the hyenas?’.

In an undercover operation, a taped conversation with one of the hyenas, at an undisclosed drinking hole in Mozambique, the spokesman for the Hyenas was recorded saying that…

‘it’s about time the big dumb cats got what was due, after all the bad press we received from the Lion King.

(The Hyena talking about the acting role they’d had in the Disney Hit, The Lion King, a media disaster for them.)

The Hyena then went on to state…

‘The census will show the world that they’re (the tigers) eating to much, transporting undisclosed amounts of meat back and forth across the borders and that most of them are travelling on holiday visas, and not work permits.  I also think they’re the ones responsible for the horsemeat in the burgers incident…they provided the raw meat!’

What is clear to this reporter is that there is more to this story than first meets the eye.  Sign up to receive updates as the story progresses!

Hasn’t education progressed beyond this?

So, I’m studying to be an airline pilot and learning all about the intricacies of civil air-travel…it’s really boring by the way…and all I can think about it when is my first review going to be published, will they hate or love it, and will they wonder why there are so many dwarfs in the union?

Ho, hum…so it’s back to Meteorology and Human Factors, a study into how the Civil Aviation Examiners can write a question so poorly as to leave you confused as to what their asking, which centaury they were in when the conundrum was posed, and what type of aircraft were actually flying at the time…some sort of winged dinosaur with a wooden saddle on the back I’m guessing from the questioning technique?  Seriously, can’t the modern examiner not pose a question that is relevant to today’s aircraft, not one that was taught to Columbus before he was allowed to board the damn boat…a questioning technique that doesn’t leave you wondering whether the inquisitor learnt his trade in Spain during the middle ages and has heard of…what we in the aviation industry call…lighter than air travel, or aeroplanes for short.  Why am I having to suffer from this after flying the Tornado,

crop f3

Hawk and various other types, all over the world and amassing nearly 5000 hours?  It cannot just be to make money for the Civil Aviation Authority could it?  They wouldn’t make me jump through all these hoops, prove I can fly a Cessna…apparently a set of RAF Fighter Pilot Wings doesn’t count for much and they need to know I can fly a light piston aircraft to show my true metal…before I can prove that I am able to fly in the airways?  I’m sure it’s not a money making exercise  😦

N.B. I have flown in the airway structure as far afield as the USA and Malaysia, from Iceland to Egypt and most of the countries in-between with my RAF wings!

Still they are using a computer based learning system… yeah, you can see the chalk marks on the DVD, sure… but at least they’re trying.  Very bloody trying.

Anyway, rant over.  Back to the stupid test on the heart…for some reason we need to be able to build one mid flight?

Do you have any gripes about the sort of training you get for your job?  If you do, I’d love to hear about them.

Ralphy the Dog sues Dwarf over loss of bone

Ralphy after hard days work at the mine, in the first few days work at the mine, the dog was said to have dug over two metric tonnes of soil…unfortunately, subsequently he replaced all the soil over a bone he wanted to hide.

In a disturbing development at the world’s deepest well construction site, the only worker, the Dog Ralphy, has walked out citing irreconcilable differences with the dwarf Berty, and is threatening to sue over the loss of his bone.  This is after the dwarf threw the bone away when the dog re-filled the well…again…to bury and hide the old femur.

This reporter had discovered that apparently Ralphy had found the work hard, and according to a friend of the dog’s, ‘he didn’t really understand what the whole project was about…and after Berty had stroked his ears, he really didn’t care. He just (Ralphy the dog) wanted to please and the promise of two walks a day sent him into a tail chasing fit!’

This reporter has also found out that the dwarf had brought treats with him when the contracts were signed and the use of a rubber ball, a fluffy toy and a wind up cat, has been suggested by more than one source.  Certainly, there appears to have been more than a little coercion implied during the negotiations and it is a surprise that the magic police have not been called in to investigate.

More on this story in the coming weeks.

To get more background on how this sorry state of affairs has come about, see related articles on the 22 Nov and 26 Nov.

Dwarf and Dog fall out over bone!

Professor  Barthomlew Big-Beard’s dog, Ralphy, quits after just a few days…stating lack of union representation as his reason.  However, in a worrying development, this reporter discovered that the building site for the world’s deepest well is a shambles and, that the only other employee, apart from the dwarf Berty, has left the construction work after only a few days on the job.  Apparently, after an argument about a dug up bone, the dwarf Berty fumed at his co-worker, Raplhy, when he re-filled the hole to bury the bone.   After the incident, a new union rep was voted in to try and calm the hostile feelings building upon the camp.  The Union Rep, Ralphy, who was voted in unanimously by all the workers much to the dwarf, Berty’s disgust,  declared a strike until worker’s bone rights could be sorted and either secure bone storage put in place or else the right for employees to bury their bones be enforced.

I can only guess that without some sort of interjection from the foreman, unfortunately also Ralphy, construction will be slow, to say the least.

More to come on this story in the coming weeks.

China to build world’s tallest building, dwarf to dig world’s deepest well

An SVG map of China with Hunan province highli...

An SVG map of China with Hunan province highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an announcement today, the country of China announced it would build the world’s tallest skyscraper, named Sky City, in Changsa, Hunan Province.  The building will be over 838 meters high, have 220 floors and would be constructed in just 3 months.  The construction will involve 200, 000 tons of steel and have space for 31,000 people when complete.

Other interesting facts about Sky City at the bottom of the page…

In other news, and after reading about the construction of Sky City, a dwarf named Berty, has announced that he will single handed dig the world’s deepest well.  The Super Well, or World’s Bottom as Berty has named it, will be exactly ten times as deep… as Sky City is high.  We asked the famous dwarf scientist Professor Bartholomew Big-Beard what this sort of project would involve…

Apparently Berty would have to work for the next 50,000 years just to dig the well, and would require another 50, 000 years to remove all the dirt he’d dug up.    He would have to work at temperatures that would melt his dwarfmail and be under constant threat of a crushing death with any collapse.  The Professor stated that the likelihood of the project ever being finished was so infinitesimally small, as to be negligible, that the dwarf would likely be killed in the first few days, and that the well was more probable proposition if Berty employed the Professor’s dog, Ralphy, as head foreman… due to his extensive digging for bones in the back garden.  He also wished Berty all the best.

When we put these facts to Berty, the small dwarf (he was actually the shortest dwarf in his mining class), replied that he believed he could get the job done in half the time the Chinese are using to construct their ‘so called Sky City’.

Journalistic note:  Berty did seem to struggle with dimensions and paled noticeably when someone explained that the model of Sky City was  …’just a model.’ and that ‘…the real one would be several thousand times bigger’.  The trainee dwarf, presently bottom of his class at the local dwarf college, has not been seen since.  This journalist did find out through a local shop keeper that Berty had just doubled his spade order, employed Ralphy as his head Foreman and added a bucket to the construction equipment list; perhaps we’ll be drinking water from the depths of the earth in the next couple of months, after all?

Sky City Facts and Figures:

It will have 104 lifts, though I bet none are as much fun as the one in TLC!

83% of the building would be used for residential use and house up to 17400 people.

There will  be a hotel with capacity for 1000, schools educating 4,600 children and a hospital for 1,400 patients.

No dwarfs or gnomes will be allowed on the premises after the owners of the building were abducted by rampaging football fans complaining about the sacking of the Chelsea FC manager.

Wizards and Witches would have to hand in their wands at reception as the building would be very prone to Bendy Foundation, a symptom of magic’s use on concrete and steel, discovered after construction of a tower in the Italian City of Pizza by the Wizard’s Guild of Free Masons.

Sub Note:  The Wizard’s Guild of Free Masons was disbanded after they built a bridge at Tacoma Narrows, the head wizard blessing the structure with his wand afterwards…the result…Bendy Foundation!

The Effect of Magic on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

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