Saturday, April 23, 2011

Very Brave

Okay, right now I'm sitting on the couch while my Dad and Sunny are watching one of those celebrity talk shows.

Answer me a question: Why in the blue fuck do people applaud ex-addicts and call them 'brave' or 'heroic' for going to rehab? It's not an achievement to get off drugs or to beat's a failure to start that shit in the first place.

You're not supposed to do drugs or abuse alcohol. You should be ashamed of starting, not proud of yourself for stopping.

If you spend twenty years punching babies for fun, you wouldn't expect to be congratulated for stopping, would you?

I don't give a shit if you're seven years sober, or have stopped gambling the rent money or stopped cheating on your wife. The achievement is not doing that shit in the first place.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I heard today that there’s a postal strike scheduled for next week.

Errrr, guys? I think that this could be the most counter-productive thing you’ve ever done.

I hate to be the ones to break this to you, but you’re part of a completely obsolete industry. If it wasn’t for taxpayer subsidies, the Post Office would have gone belly up around ten years ago.

In 2011, the average person has a choice. They can write an email, which is completely free, can get anywhere in the world so close it instantly that it makes no difference, and if it does get lost en route (which is incredibly rare), it’s a couple of mouse clicks to send it again.

Or…they can pay for paper and an envelope, write out their message which takes a hundred times longer and then pay someone to get it to its destination which takes anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. If it gets lost (which is relatively common), you don’t get your money back and it’s just tough shit.

…as I’ve said before, when you pay someone to deliver a letter and they ask you for extra money to make sure it gets there, or so they’ll reimburse you if they fuck up…something is completely wrong.

The worst part is that the only thing keeping the post office alive today is junk mail…which makes up around 80% of all traditional mail.

Think about what a complete and total waste that is:

First of all, someone destroys a fuck ton of trees to make all that paper…then someone else wastes a ton of energy and resources printing all this junk mail…then the post office burns a ton of fuel and creates a ton of pollution to deliver it to people who immediately drop it into the trash without a glance…and from there it’s straight to the landfill.

Of course, this is where someone points out that email is impersonal and sometimes it’s oh so very nice to receive an actual, real letter…something that someone has held in their hands.

My answer to that is: Fedex, UPS or some other package delivery company. They have a small advantage in that they’re far more reliable, faster and don’t require a constant influc of taxpayer cash to keep the lights on.

Basically, guys, what I’m saying is that when you go on strike, you’re not denying the country an essential service to show just how valuable you are and how lost we’d be without you… you’re showing the country just how superfluous you are. In 2011, no one needs to receive a paper bill or mail a check, we can do all that immediately, for free, online.

I, for one, am looking forward to the postal strike…a day without having to chuck out a pile of junk mail sounds like a real positive to me.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Diabetes and Suits

Well, it turns out that the diet and exercise has paid off.

Last Monday I went to the doctor’s office to get some bloodwork done to check on my diabetes…and it turns out that I don’t have diabetes any more. After all the work I put into getting in shape, I was half expecting them to say I didn’t need meds anymore and could control it with diet and exercise… but this was way better than expected.

I can actually have orange juice with breakfast now! I bloody love orange juice but had to avoid it like the plague because it was so high in fructose.

Anyway, I don’t think the ‘all clear’ will actually change many of my habits. One of the things about having diabetes is that you get a crash course in just how much sugar and calories is in everything. Just by swapping regular soda for diet and swapping sugar for splenda in tea and coffee, I managed to cut nearly 700 calories from my daily intake.

Yes, I no longer have diabetes…but I’m still a bit of a fat bastard.

In fact, I absolutely fucking hate my body shape.

Shortly after getting back to the UK, I went to buy a suit for job interviews, etc… and quickly discovered nothing ‘off the peg’ would fit me… and not just because I’m a bit fat.

For example, to get a suit jacket that fits my shoulders and arms, I had to special order a jacket to fit a 52” chest (the largest size most stores stock is 48”)… but while that fits my shoulders and arms perfectly, the ‘gut’ of the jacket is just way too big. Put simply, it turns out that people who make suits expect people with 52” chests to have at least 50” waists.

The trousers aren’t that easy to get either. I essentially have a choice: I can buy a pair of pants that are way too tight around my legs but fit my waist perfectly…or trousers that fit my legs perfectly, but are about 4” too big around the waist.

Long story short, no matter what I do, I always look like a kid who borrowed his dad’s suit.

Oh well, at least I can drink orange juice again.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Good News / Bad News

Last night, for the first time in a couple of months, I decided to jump online and check the sales figures for my book.

I’ll admit it, I giggled like a schoolgirl. There’s been a bit of a run over the last month or so… I’m not going to talk actual figures, but I sold more copies yesterday that I did over the entire first month it was available.

To be completely honest, I’m still not even approaching anything close to ‘best seller’ figures…but the book is performing way beyond my expectations, especially considering Restless Dead is an independently published book that had a marketing budget of zero.

Of course, with the good comes a bit of bad. I was wondering what had caused the sudden spike in interest, so I googled myself to see if I’d been mentioned somewhere.

I found a very nice review on Amazon, another good one on and a couple of other good mentions on various sites and forums.

On the other hand, I also found out that the PDF copy has found its way to a couple of illegal download sites.

To be completely honest, I’m not really all that concerned about the illegal copies. In fact, I can probably thank the illegal downloads for the sudden interest and extra sales.

Don’t get me wrong, the illegal downloads certainly don’t have my ‘blessing’… I spent hundreds of hours writing The Restless Dead and, weirdly, I’d much prefer that people, you know, pay me for my work…but I’m pragmatic enough to know there’s very little I can do about it, so I might as well sit back and enjoy the free marketing.

However, the part I really wasn’t happy about was when I discovered a homebrew website that was offering a slew of independent books (including mine) for ridiculously inflated prices. For example, my book was on sale there for $29.99….$17 higher than the list price.

In case you don’t see the scam, this guy has basically set himself up as an unauthorized middle man. You order a copy of my book from him, he then orders it from Amazon or Createspace and sends it to you…pocketing the $17 difference. I still only get my regular royalty payment and you pay over twice the list price.


Long story short, Amazon and Createspace are the only authorized retailers for The Restless Dead. If you buy it from anywhere else (apart from legitimate used book sites), you’re getting ripped off.

Anyway, I’d just like to thank anyone who’s bought a copy for their continued support…and if you really liked it, do me a favor and tell a friend or stop by and leave a rating or a review. I’d really appreciate it.