And now the end is nigh

And so I write one final cliche…

Ahh, but was it as much fun for you as it was for me?

We’ve had weirdness – the time-stampery-jiggery-pokery where the server clock kept jumping forwards hours at a time was very strange and when it jumped back it messed up the comments, but we defeated it! Kind of. Worked around it.

We’ve had chat, we’ve had silliness, some serious bits, and raised a bundle of notes for good causes.

All that remains is:

For me to thank my gracious tech-support and wonderful fellow LifePoster: Nicky I couldn’t have done it with out you – you’ve been great.

To thank the many commenters and chatterers who’ve helped keep my spirits up through the night.

To say that I’ll be happy to do the same again next year, and that in the mean time my Justgiving site is still running and I’m prepared to write more polished entries more or less to spec for similar levels of donations until it closes.

Thank you, and good night Vienna.

Penultimatum

It’s been great fun writing for the blogathon.

Here’s a list of the physical resources that have gone into making this blogathon possible (and that’s just the writing of these bits):

Two large pots of coffee

Six cups of Yorkshire Tea

Three Peperami sausages (two black, one green)

Half a giant bag of  chilli tortilla chips

One pot of cold pasta bake

Several pints of orange squash

Five cotton buds

Eight sheets of tissue paper

A quarter inch of each of my typing fingers – that’s maybe seven eights of an inch between them.

And, has it been worth it.  You bet your life it has.  It’s been great fun.  And money to a good cause too.

Hurray!

How I became Guybrush (only really of interest to anybody using MSN)

Back in the dim distant past, when I first arrived at university, me and all my friends signed up for this exciting new (for us) thing called MSN, which let us talk to each other over vast distances (usually two or three computers away in the lab). We all assigned silly aliases for our already silly web-names. And that’s (almost) where this fella comes in:

Guybrush/Timbo

His name is Guybrush Threepwood, and at the time he was the major character in a game called “The Secret of Monkey Island” which we all played to death. It turns out that we have a frightening number of things in common, and it seemed that when we were palying the game, it was MY fate that was being decided (he didn’t really end up with the girl at the end of the game either). And the name kind of stuck. Back then graphics weren’t as fantastic as they are today, and although they conveyed the impression of a skinny guy with long hair a nd ascratchy beard they weren’t quite so detailed as the picture above, which appeared on the scene many years later, and was a more or less spitting image of my head at the time. So the name stuck faster than a barnacle which had been eating superglue.

It’s getting busy

People are coming back online, and I’ve run out of subjects to write about.

On the strength of this, one of my mates is considering making the switch to WordPress from blogger – which is kinda cool.

Just been in a chat with Nicky and her Mum whilst they boasted about island visitations.

Almost frightening.

Wine, Women and Song (for breakfast)

Well, I’ve got music playing in the back ground – a song called “The Big Sleep” by the Gathering. It’s not exactly sing along stuff though.

As for the breakfast, I had that a while ago, and the wine and women are distant thoughts and dreams respectively.

The title sounded like it would have more to write about when I wrote it. I hate it when that happens and I’m working to a deadline.

Buffy!

Erica asked me who my favourite characters in Buffy were and my least favourite and why.

Favourite #1: Spike, he was plain funny to start off with, kept on having all the best lines, and really surprised me by the choice he’d made between seasons six and seven.

Least Favourite #1: Buffy (yeah I know it’s her show) and Dawn. The terrible twosome, dull, whiny and dull.

Favourite #2: The Xander/Anya entity: comedy genius and very touching to boot.

Least favourite #3: Angel, dull, whiny, unimaginative (even as a villain – although the Miss Calendar episode goes some way to redeeming this) and dull.

Back in the Day, When I were a lad, etc.

They knew how to make proper toys.

Swingball, for example – a bit of string, a pole, a tennis ball, a spiral architecture of some sort and either hands if you were tough or plastic bats if you were sensible. The toughest bit was making the hole in the ground for the pole to stick into. Hours of fun.

Space Hoppers – giant orange inflatable monster heads to sit on and bounce on! Genius.

Which brings me back to one of my favourite subjects – myself. On Wednesday night, I helped invent a brand new game. Table badminton. It was a kids’ club like any other kids’ club, and one of the leaders was getting thrashed at table tennis – the ball was moving far too fast for him (and the kids had a team of two just against him). In a moment of inspiration, which sadly passed, I chucked in a shuttle-cock which was lying around and a legend was born. The idea quickly became to get the shuttle on the floor on your opponents side of the table suing the space of the whole hall if necessarry, using only a table tennis bat. I joined in to even up the odds and the leaders went on losing. It was great.

We used to have these things called playing cards when I was young…

Almost time for breakfast

It’s just about time for me to go back through to the kitchen and have another bowl of Weetabix with skimmed milk.

It’s the stuff of life itself. That and good strong cups of tea.

I was only just getting out of bed at this time on Friday morning.  There’s been a lot of time spent awake since then, most of it seems to have made some kind of sense.

Wibble,  mcgruoing,  gesplarg, duwoak ptoing.

Not that bit though.

Why do people always wake up 5 minutes before their alarm, even if you set it for different times every day

This is an easy one from Erica.

I’d have thought that she knew all about the alarm-clock gnomes.

These vile creatures have always existed, but only found their true purpose with the invention of the alarm clock. They only wake up people whose alarm clocks have been set. Always five minutes before the clock is due to go off. Scientifically proven fact. The alarm-clock gnomes have never been known to act in the case of anybody who forgot to wind or set their alarm – these poor unfortunates are left to wake up naturally, almost always at a much later time than desired – the gnomes then usually set the clock so it looks like the alarm should have rung.

If you have an infestation of gnomes, there is no cure.

Keeping Snakes and Tarantulas as Pets

Thanks to Paul Maddison for this one.

First of all I feel honour bound to say that it’s nothing at all like working in the library. Mostly because libraries need to be kept fairly cool and dry whilst most snakes and tropical spiders like it to be (at the very least) warm. Spiders are cuddlier than librarians too.

Judging from my own experiences looking after the snakes and amphibians at school, and talking to Paul, I know that it’s a hobby which grows on you – all that got in the way of my childhood dreams of my own reptile house was a complete lack of parental support or any form of financial backing.

I know cages need paying for and heating, and filling with food, and that you need to get the animals from somewhere. Apparently these days spiders can be sent in boxes in the post, so it’s not just their supermarket bananas that post men need to be careful of. Spiders molt, like crabs, but less aquatic. Snakes also shed their skin.

My uncle once gave me a snakeskine belt. It was the best belt in the world. Then it broke. I was thirteen or so. I haven’t really thought about snakes since.

Until now. Paul, what kind ofa monster have you unleashed?!