Sunday, 31 October 2010

Merry Halloween!

Mwahahahahahahaha! And some such.

Well, I somehow managed to completely not find out that Most Haunted no longer exists, for some reason. It has, in fact, been replaced by... Wait for it...

Paranormal Investigation: Live! I don't know about you, but I sure can feel the drama. The thing's going live and on air at 9 tonight, which places it, at the time of writing, at just under two hours. Highlight of my Halloween, that. They're going to a castle somewhere.

Now, seeing as I've not had my drink yet, I'll resume this entry when it's live and I'm feeling tiddly! I the meantime, have Ashen's Halloween Special


Well, it's live and I'm sitting here drinking a strange cocktail of vodka and red wine (it tastes... interesting). Hold on, Yvette's gone! [Checks wiki] ah, she left and that's why the show came to it's end. Bugger, she was funny though! Ok, they started yesterday, and're at Castle Menzies, Scotland. Scotland's always been notorious for ghost stories and paranormal activity. It gets really quite creepy in the Highlands in the middle of the night.

After spending a while with the program, I don't believe it's as good as Most Haunted, although it's quite entertaining and I'll stick with it. Anyway, back to more Halloweeny stuff!

Well, there's kids outside knocking on my door, and there's no way in hell I'm answering them. There's orange fireworks, and the entire night's distinctly underwhelming. Well, I enjoyed last Halloween, and it was a thoroughly lovely day and night, despite a brief amount of idiocy from me. This one... Ain't so much. Although I'm content to sit here getting drunk and eating sweets. And is it just me, or do people make much more of a big deal over Halloween than they did a few years ago? Because that seems to be the case. I'd sure like to know why, it's not like it's important.

Ah well, time to watch some more TV and drink some more Leach-Juice (that's the name of my new cocktail of wine and vodka. It is glorious).

Until next time! Don't have nightmares, unless you like them,

... Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Saturday, 30 October 2010


Hello world! May I point your attention to my opinion of fireworks. But first, may I point your attention to my dear friend, Luke Clarke, epic and talented musician: I command thee to go there and follow him religiously, because he is very talented and has an awesome beard. I too have a beard, but that is besides the point.

The point is fireworks! Those lovely little things some people fire into the sky, where they explode into shiny colours. The key words here are:
You can see why they appeal to people, and I have no quibbles with them. I do, however, have quibbles with people letting them off in the middle of the day. The afternoon, specifically. When it's still light. 3 o'clock in the freakin' afternoon.

Why do these deeply immature people feel the need to let off fireworks, which can only be really seen at night, in the middle of the afternoon? I suspect I answered this question with the word 'immature'. Maybe they just like the banging noise. That came out wrong.

Even so, is there any real need? Put the clappers on today's photography, I can tell you. That and the wind. And it was a pure blue sky, totally clear, while I work best with overcast skies. But I digress! Fireworks are immoral and silly when it's light. They are just wasting good fireworks that could be used for an actual special occasion. Or just because. It's Halloween tomorrow (like the TV could ever let you forget), so we'll probably have some more then. Bah, I'm just looking forward to the Most Haunted special. Staying up till silly times watching funny/scary programs for the epic win.

I'll almost certainly blog tomorrow night. I'll almost certainly be drinking copious amounts of wine and/or beer and/or whiskey.

Until next time!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Photography Today

Browsing through deviantART, it's interesting to note just how... uniform most photography now is on there. As a whole it's largely 'clean'. Too clean, I would say. It's all very low contrast, with balanced exposures. Whites tend to be pure, and colours clearly defined. Composition is generally good, though the images tend to be flat and uninteresting. While there's nothing wrong with this style (and don't get me wrong, it's a style. There's never a 'right' way with photography), it is interesting to note just how saturated we are with these images now.

It's become so that images that try to be different and follow different styles stick out an uncomfortable amount. It's simply a question of style: most photographers nowadays will have learned by looking at the work of the modern 'greats', and have attempted to emulate them. It's really the only real style they know, and they rarely try out new things, leading to the current state of things.

Yes, my work mainly goes against the norm, with it's grungy, high-contrast chiaroscuro style. That's not to say I'm blowing my own trumpet, as I'm critical of my own work. At the same time, I'm critical of photographers that just follow the trend, rather than creating their own style. It's flat and, dare I say, commercial. Modernism taken to the point where it's spreading to everyone else. It's got to the point where you can't pick out a 'good', 'impressive', or 'breathtaking' photograph, due simply to the incredible similarity they all share.

Now, I tried my hand at that style in the days when I didn't know any better, and decided it was too similar to other work I'd seen. Therefore, I developed my own style which I have not seen another photographer use. Is that because it's crap? Perhaps. But I'm going against photography's modern nature, and that's what counts. I'm not trying to appeal to other people (which others clearly are), I'm just doing it for the love of my hobby.

With that said, I'm all for following someone else's style if you, personally, like it and want your work to be like it. But at the same time, I believe photographers should be distinct in their styles.

Until next time!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Risqué Joke Of The Month!

I shall attempt to post one of these every month. Unless I forget. Still, here we go, the best risqué joke I've seen this month!

King Arthur was getting ready to go on a Quest. He was worried about leaving his beautiful Queen Guinevere alone with all those lonely knights of the Round Table. So he went to his famous wizard, Merlin, for some advice.
After explaining his predicament to Merlin, the wizard looked thoughtful and said to come back in a week and he'd see if he could come up with something.
A week later King Arthur was back in Merlin's laboratory where the good wizard was showing him his latest invention.
It was a chastity belt... except it had a rather large hole in the most obvious place. "This is no good, Merlin!" the king exclaimed, "Look at this opening. How is this supposed to protect m' lady, the Queen?"
"Ah, sire, just observe." said Merlin as he searched his cluttered workbench until he found what he was looking for. He then selected his most worn out wand, one that he was going to discard anyway. He then inserted it in the gaping aperture of the chastity belt whereupon a small guillotine blade came down and cut it neatly in two.
"Merlin, you are a genius!" said the grateful monarch, "Now I can leave, knowing that my Queen is fully protected." After putting Guinevere in the device, King Arthur then set out upon his Quest.
Several years passed until he returned to Camelot. Immediately he assembled all his knights in the courtyard and had them drop their trousers for an informal 'short arm' inspection.
Sure enough! Each and every one of them was either amputated or severely damaged in some way. All of them, that is, except Sir Galahad.
"Sir Galahad," exclaimed King Arthur, "The one and only true knight! Only you among all the nobles have been true to me. What is it in my power to grant you? Name it and it is yours!"
Unfortunately, Sir Galahad was speechless.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Through The Eyes Of A Killer

I fainted yesterday while getting ready for a friend's party. No, it's not because I treat getting ready as an extreme sport... Parachuting from 5 zillion feet with my wardrobe while simultaneously getting out my clothes and putting them on. And showered, can't forget that. No, I don't treat it like an extreme sport. But it was almost certainly my own fault: I've spent the last two weeks feeling progressively worse with some sort of tonsillitis-flu-hybrid, and have afforded myself next to no rest during this time, due to the ridiculous amounts of work I've managed to get. Mum's had and got the same thing, and nearly fainted at work. No small wonder that I keeled over and then felt too weak to go out.

I did, however, use the time as productively as I could, and read a book. John Douglas' semi-autobiography, Mindhunter. Here is what Wiki tells us about Mr. Douglas:
"John Edward Douglas (born June 18, 1945), is a former special agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), one of the first criminal profilers, and criminal psychology author."
And here is the link for his entire life, in blessedly brief, and occasionally incorrect Wiki form: Knock yourselves out.

Criminal Profiling is something that one could see as almost witchcraft, or impossible psychic ability. It certainly looks that way to those who rarely encounter it. It is not an arcane process at all, however. It works in the same way as developing an antidote from a poison: a profiler develops a murderer from the murder.

If that sounds like it could lead to someone being charged with a crime he did not commit, you'd be right. We only need to look at the tragic case of Rachel Nickell in this country, in which criminal psychologist Paul Britton was asked to give a profile of the killer. The police then zealously used this profile to target their prime suspect, Colin Stagg, while the actual killer was Robert Napper. Britton was unfairly persecuted by the tabloid press. It was not his fault the police decided to use his profile (and any profile is always built on speculation, although educated) to target the wrong man. Ultimately, cock-ups can happen.

Profiling is the result of guesswork, albeit educated guesswork. Allow me to give an example of a fictional murder...

A young woman is walking alone, late at night. A male stranger walks up to her, and explains that it's dangerous for a young lady to be out alone this late. He offers to escort her to her destination. She agrees. When the stranger is sure they are alone in a secluded enough location, he suddenly grabs her, wrestles her down to the floor, and attempts to rape her. When he fails, he stabs her repeatedly and ferociously in the chest, with a switch-blade he had in his pocket. He strips her, commits necrophilia, and then de-feminizes her, with a handful of nearby mud. No effort is made to hide the body, and it is found early the next day.

A profiler called in to assist with this case may draw the following conclusions (bearing in mind he did not see the murder take place, and only effectively know what he can see:
  • The killer was male, likely in his teens to late 20's. This is evident in the choice of victim: a young woman. They are often targeted by male killers because they do not seem to pose much of a threat. Moreover, the obvious signs of sexual abuse, both before and after death, make the intentions of the killer obvious.
  • Murder was not the original intention. When it became obvious that he was unable to rape this woman, he entered a rage, and stabbed her to death. She was presumably on the floor at this time, so the killer could have strangled her. Stabbing however, carries sexual connotations, and is a highly personal murder method. It is also quicker than strangulation.
  • The killer is somewhat misogynistic. From the intention of rape, it is evident that the killer at least has little respect for women. That he had sex with the body, and then de-feminized her, shows that he more likely hates them. He has probably had little luck with women, and so enjoys the feeling of power that comes from overpowering them... Almost 'possessing' their bodies. He has almost certainly raped women before.
  • He is probably local and knows the area. She was killed in seclusion, and no-one had seen either her or anyone with her, although people were out that night. Therefore, we must assume that he knew where to lead her where there'd be no people.
  • The killer is sane, but proud of what he's done. The legal definition of 'insanity' is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. He clearly knows the difference because he did not attack where he felt he might be seen. He is proud of what he's done because he made no effort to hide the body, and went to the effort of leaving a signature in her de-feminization. This pride also indicates that he is now likely to kill again, leaving more signatures.
  • The killer's age is evident in that he carried a knife, and panicked when he was unable to rape her. He likely has little experience with women, and so feels the need to be 'accepted' by them. By forcing himself upon them.
Pure speculation. It is, however, educated speculation, and fairly accurate. Furthermore, the killer's necrophilia is a symptom of a particular breed of sexual killer, just as it was with Ed Kemper and Ted Bundy. I believe it was also a characteristic of the Vampire of Dusseldorf, Peter Kurten. But you see, it is the job of a profiler to reverse-engineer a murder to give us a murderer. It's as Douglas says in Mindhunter, "to understand the artist, you have to look at the painting."

Monday, 18 October 2010

A Progressive Shoot


Oh, why not show you this? For a project, I went out with my dear Sony a200 DSLR, and took 6 images in the same area that show a contrast between the old Photographic Pictorialism (that traditionally 'arty' and soft-focus style), and more modern chiaroscuro techniques. The contrast I have created could not be more obvious if I had tried to make it any more obvious. Enjoy the feast of RIOT-shrunk images! Because I'm not waiting a full week for the images to upload.

The names of the pieces (displayed under the images, which is really the simplest way to do it), are references to either the symbolism in the image, or the associations we may have with the subject.

Innocence Lost
Ageing Gracelessly

Cut Off

Joke Of The Day

An internet cookie to the first person who knows what brilliant show this is told in.

A rich man and a poor man are having dinner together, and their wive's birthdays are coming up. The poor man asks the rich man what he got his wife and he says, "A diamond ring and a Mercedes".
"Why'd you get her both?", asks the poor man.
"Because if she doesn't like the ring, she can still drive it back to the shop."
Then the rich man asks the poor man what he got his wife.
"A pair of slippers and a dildo", he says.
"Why did you get her both?"
"Because if she doesn't like the slippers, she can go fuck herself."

Baddum-tsch! And with that, I leave you until next time.

Until next time,

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Most Curious Dream

Last night, I had a dream that Microsoft, Apple, Google, Valve, Blizzard, Facebook, Twitter,and didn't exist. Or Metacritic.

And now I'm sad, because they do exist.

Monday, 11 October 2010

If I Were A Telly Producer...

I was thinking today, as you do, "What if I was a TV producer? What kind of stuff would I do?" Yeah, it's been that kind of day.

But it certainly got me thinking. Current comedy, in England anyway, is pretty decent, with the odd thing that's just not funny (Lee Nelson... the first three I saw were funny. The rest... Well, there's only so far you can push chaviness). So yeah, I'd likely not do comedy. Why bother anyway? We've got the Inbetweeners! That everyone keeps raving about. Incessantly. I can only conclude it's reached the height of it's popularity and will now slowly wither and die. There's only so much sexual innuendo, and so many words for 'vagina' in the world. I like it, true, but the number of people raving about it has just got silly. Now, Drama is rather a niche thing, and there's FAR too many on the telly at the mo. While not really a 'drama' per sé, I'd likely resurrect Ashes to Ashes/Life on Mars. Maybe in the present day, with the main character being from the future. Gene Hunt being forced to use modern policing methods is a pretty funny image.

Or I could make a soap! I'd call it 'The Wonderful End of the World', and focus on a street in Milten Keynes. With all the drunken brawling, slags, drugs, RnB, and incessant teenage sex that entails. And teenage pregnancy. And STD's. And DIY abortions. Maybe I'd throw in the odd serial killer, and have part of each episode set in a prison where a child molester from the street is being held. Then we can observe the mental degeneration of each generation of the families living there. Yes, I've been to Milten Keynes. Yes, it's horrible. Yes, I'm prejudiced against the place. I'm sure some areas of it are very nice. I just didn't notice them.

How about sport? Knowing me, I'd almost certainly find some loophole that'd let me create a Running Man-style TV show. Maybe even called The Running Man. I can't see how that could possible fail to be popular... But what's wrong with documentaries? Well, actually nothing, asides from some are very dry affairs. The stuff on the war on Iraq at the moment is good though, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of the series. It's rather a niche thing though, and I'd like to do something that's not been done before. And, to be honest, I think EVERYTHING'S been done.

With all that said, it's probably for the best that I'm not a producer. I would make silly programs for a serious world. Or would that be a good thing?

Until next time!

PS. News just in: d'you know what the last words spoken on the Challenger before it's break up were? "Uh-oh", spoken by the pilot, Michael J. Smith.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Stayin' Metal?

Oh god, why did I not know this existed?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Hunting In Silence

Oh dear god, why did I have to start playing Silent Hunter again? Why must I punish myself?

Silent Hunter is a series of WW2 submarine simulators, occasionally hideously difficult to get used to. Sometimes like Flight Sim under the sea. With torpedoes.

The specific game in question this time is Wolves of the Pacific, with the U-Boat Missions expansion. I decided "it won't be as bad as last time, just ease yourself in with the Sub School, remind yourself how to play". Navigation is fluid as it always was, and clunky enough to mirror a real sub... Making close-range evasion or hunting exceedingly difficult and tense. Likewise, deck-gunning is the same as it always was, even though it took around half an hour to shoot down all the enemy planes, due to my appalling aim and misjudging how long the cannons would take to reload. Sinking ships with the deck cannon is still good fun and easy to do though.

Then we come to torpedoes. I swear I'm getting better, but I'm still missing spectacularly. Even once firing one from the wrong end of the sub, in the wrong direction.

I start up a career as an American Captain, with a Porpoise class, my home at Pearl Harbour. My first mission (which are random each time) seems easy enough: "Patrol off the Philippines". Then I realise Pearl Harbour is friggin' hundreds of miles away from where I need to be. Putting it mildly. I buggered off and made a sandwich while my sub crawled it's way to where I wanted to be.

10 minutes later, we get there, and I immediately need to make an emergency dive to avoid powering straight into a warship. It noticed me (funny that, "Oh, what's that thing powering towards us over there? It looks a bit funny... Can you hear someone screaming 'dive'? OH GOD!"), and had begun to fire depth charges at me. 5 minutes of panicking and evasive manoeuvres followed, at the end of which, I was in the optimum 90 degree angle to fire my torpedoes. Of the 12(!) I fired, two hit, in the centre of the ship. A bit like decapitating a wasp, it only seemed to make the crew angry. It's engines crapped out a minute after the impact, and they resolved to spunking all of their cannon ammo on trying to hit me. While I was at the bottom of the sea. Yeah, I don't know how they thought they'd manage it anyway.When it was safe, I decided to surface and use my own cannon. And fail, over 500 shells, to sink the warship. I hit it numerous times, but it just wouldn't sink. I got pissed and tried to ram it. That worked, but killed several members of my crew and caused silly amounts of damage to my prow.

I can only conclude, that I would be the worst Ace in existence. I can't sink anything smaller than an aircraft carrier.

Seriously, play this game. Any one in the series. I can guarantee that you'll be better than me.

Until next time!


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Lego Ashens

If you don't know who Stuart Ashen is, he's a bloke from Norwich who's on the internet. Just Google his name, and you'll happen upon his website. Alternatively, if you're too lazy to:

If, however, you go to his YouTube channel and watch his latest video (about Lego) or read his latest Tweets: , you will learn that he has made a peculiar little Lego set in an effort to raise money for WaterAid - a very noble cause that gives death-free water to people that don't have it. Such as people in Grimsby.

All joking aside, this is a very worthy cause. The fund-raising effort is quite simple: he has put up one of his odd little Lego sets onto Ebay. The highest bidder by the 10th of October will win it, and his or her cash will be sent to WaterAid, which will be spent, presumably, on something to do with water. If you win, you can also ask Stuart to sign it for you, and probably ask him for other crap to be included, because he's nice like that.

It's already up to £100 in a few short hours, with 45 bidders. With 6 days left, it'll probably reach astronomical heights, but at least you could get that warm and fuzzy feeling by bidding, which I myself have done.

The link for the auction is here:

Also, on the video there is a debate raging about whether the plural of Lego is 'Legos'. Which it isn't. just as the plural of sheep is not 'sheeps'. Although that would be pretty funny.

Anyway, until next time!


Saturday, 2 October 2010

A Tribute

No sooner do I set up a blog, that I get the most terrible of news... I must say, this is not a good start.

I met Micheal Hanlon five years ago, when we were coincidentally both on holiday down south. We got talking, as you sometimes do, and got on incredibly well. So well, in fact, that we kept in touch via the internet almost non-stop. During these five past years, we became great and close friends, though our locations (I in the North, he in Maine) did much to make communication often awkward and slow.

On Wednesday, I found out that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, and not early enough that it could be dealt with easily, as if they could be dealt with easily. This, of course, hit me hard and I became increasingly worried for his health. The doctors had informed him that there was a less than 50% chance of surviving the operation. And so, during Wednesday, he said to his friends what became his farewells. Early on Friday, he underwent an operation that he did not survive. His instructions before he went into surgery, to his brother, was to inform me what happened, no matter what happened.

He was only 20, and was fiercely intelligent, a quality mirrored by his brother. A brilliant friend, son, and sibling, who will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.

I wish your soul speed, my friend. Rest in peace.


Well, it was suggested to me a while ago, that I should write a blog. Perhaps it's because I'm opinionated. Perhaps it's because I can talk seemingly endless reams of utter rubbish. Who knows.

Well, I suppose I should flex my ego and talk about myself. Hmm... I'm sure there's a bio thingymidoodah somewhere around here... Ah, what the hell!

I'm a male gamer and let's player on YouTube. I'm an avid and enthusiastic amateur photographer with dubious talent, besides people who still insist I've got talent. I refuse to listen to their laiz. I'm very English, living in the North of England, where the sun never shines and the rain melts your face off. My sense of humour is dark and very twisted, having been subjected for many years to horror films, black comedy, heavy metal, and the strange and peculiar things that happen daily in this... wonderful... world we inhabit. Despite all this, I'm determined to be somewhat cheerful, even if it kills me. Which it probably will.

What else can I waffle on about... uh, I'm an amateur 'chef' (in the loosest possible sense), and thus am obsessed with creating food. I'm also something of a writer, and enjoy horror novels. Aaand I was gonna say some other crap, but it's deserted my mind and is likely on it's way to Miami to live it up. I'm tempted to join it.

Any road up, throughout my blogging years, which will hopefully be many and prosperous, I'll talk a load of assorted bollocks. About gaming, cookery, photography, current affairs, life, and very likely more stuff than you can shake a stuff-shaped stick at.

Now to find that bio section...

Until next time!


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