The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Posts Tagged ‘lottie rambleson’

For my beauteous wife…

Posted by That Other Mike on 14/04/2010

… who is also comely, pulchritudinous and lovely. And damn sexy, too 😉

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Fly me to the moon…

Posted by That Other Mike on 04/01/2009

To Lottie: my rock, my best friend, the love of my life…

Posted in my wife, Personal | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

My wife is a smartie…

Posted by That Other Mike on 19/08/2008

I knew my wife was smart. Quite apart from the marrying me thing, she also comes up with some damned good ideas.

Following some recent issues with sploggers and scrapers, she’s decided to make a copyright notice.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Odds and Sods | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The power of Stumbleupon!

Posted by That Other Mike on 13/08/2008

Most of the time, Lottie and I get between 50 and 100 hits per day each. Not dreadful, but not in the big leagues. We’re small time bloggers, basically.

That is, until today!

Lottie’s post called The Lazy Class has received 400 visits today already. How? By being on Stumbleupon.

I’ve got to start using that thing…

Posted in blogging, Odds and Sods, Personal | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

TV and love and marriage and stuff

Posted by That Other Mike on 20/07/2008

I think I’ve written here before about my obsession with series of things. This is down to some minor obsessive compulsive behaviour – among other things, I am compelled to count similarly-shaped objects, as long as they all follow the same orientation, meaning that shelves of books or videos represent a particular danger to me.

If I find a series of something that I like, books, films, TV or cartoons, I am compelled to read or watch as much of it as I can. And it doesn’t stop there – there’s a good reason that I have all of Johnny Cash’s American series.

This can be rather frustrating. For a start, catching up on a series if I come to it late can be an enormous investment of time (The Order of the Stick and XKCD are a case in point), and keeping up with it thereafter can be a hassle.

Another reason for my frustration is with TV. We have Virgin for our TV, broadband and phone. They operate a service called “On Demand”, which allows you to watch programmes broadcast in the past week, as well as films, and TV series from channels such as HBO, Warner, Paramount Comedy and so on. This has enabled me to watch far too much Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as catching up on some old favourites like Red Dwarf. Unfortunately, new instalments of various series seem to come rather randomly; I watched the first four episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles back to back a couple of weeks ago, and to my annoyance, no new ones have been forthcoming since then.

One of the series I’ve been watching recently has been The Mind of the Married Man, which originally aired on HBO in 2006. It basically focuses on Micky Barnes (played by Mike Binder) and his relationship with his wife, which is notably rocky, and his relationships with his friends, which are easy-going and trouble-free. Up to now, I’ve seen five episodes, and am eagerly awaiting the rest of the series.

Micky seems to always be getting in trouble with his wife, Donna (Sonya Walger); neither one of them seems to make much effort or be too content in their marriage, and he feels dissatisfied and sexually-frustrated. Out of a warped sense of fidelity and honour, Micky doesn’t sleep around, unlike his friend Jake, despite being near-obsessively drawn his assistant, Missy (Ivana Milicevic).

A large part of the series focuses on Micky and Donna’s problems, many of them involving sex, their mutual inability to understand each other and the fact that they increasingly seem to have less and less in common.

One of earlier episodes, Time on the Lake, sees Micky and Donna feeling restless after their married friends all reveal that they have joint hobbies which involve spending time together followed by great sex; Doug and Carol go deer hunting, Jake and Bianca go antiquing together, but Micky and Donna don’t seem to do anything together.

After several abortive attempts to get some kind of hobby going, including buying guns and going antiquing, they realise that they originally started going out because they liked to hang out together, and that they both love to just lie around in bed and read.

This is kind of what I’m getting at with this post. My wife and I are homebodies. We don’t go out dancing or go bar hopping. In the limited time we’ve been able to spend with each other over the years, our best times have been spent just laying around reading. We stay in bed, and cuddle, and absent-mindedly kiss in between pages. It’s one of the things I miss when we’re apart, and one of the things I like most when we’re together.

When we’re not able to be together, one of the things we seem to enjoy most is getting into discussions about… well, more or less anything, and talking and analysing and discussing that subject for hours.

What I also want to say is that even if you argue, even if you have problems, you can get past it. If you love each other, and can spend a little time doing what you enjoy together, no problem is completely insurmountable. And yes, I know that’s of a simplistic viewpoint, that most marriages and relationships are more complex than that, and that many problems are insurmountable… But not in my marriage.

My wife and I love each other, and we enjoy spending time together quietly. Everything else is window-dressing to that; those two things are sufficient and enough.

I’m struggling here because I don’t know how to get it out properly; all I can say is that I fell in love with someone who turned out to be the best friend I ever had, and she’s all that I could ever need in a companion and lover.

Dedicated to my wife, for ever and always.

Posted in my wife, Odds and Sods, Personal, TV | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My fiction and me – on being a writer and reader

Posted by That Other Mike on 01/07/2008

Before I get into my shtick about fiction, I’d just like to thank everyone who has decided to take part in our readers’ and writers’ group by joining Idiosyncratica. I’m sure we’ll all find it enjoyable and useful.

The topic we chose was “My fiction and me”, which I think is a nice and gentle opener. It may get more complex later on as we get into the swing of things and grow more confident as a group; then again, it might become easier for us to handle. We’ll see, anyway.

I’d like to start by talking about what I read. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve been an avid reader. Mainly, I think, because I am by nature quite shy; I have learned to overcome it and be more outgoing, but it is an act of will rather than nature.

My reading runs a wide range, although I am very much a fan of the 20th century in terms of what I read, probably because the 20th was the first century in which reading was not a pursuit only of the wealthy who had leisure time: it saw a huge variety of different genres explode onto the scene in a very short time, from the hardboiled noir of Chandler to the elegant visionary themes of Alfred Bester to the psychological mastery of Patricia Highsmith. The sheer volume of different books about different themes and by such different people are enough to make the 20th century my favourite.

On my bookshelf, Vernon God Little sits next to The Left Hand of Darkness and The Wasp Factory:I will read almost any genre, although I do have my limits and my favourites. I am always drawn to science fiction, perhaps because it so often offers a vision of better future, and to horror and the supernatural, my affection for which I’m almost scared to analyse! I tend to stay away from romance fiction and I often find myself turned off by modern literary fiction, which too often takes pretence and obfuscation and confuses them with profundity.

I also adore certain writers beyond all measure and will remain for ever loyal to them: Margaret Atwood, Patricia Highsmith, Ursula K. Le Guin, Iain Banks (M. or not!), for example. They have created utterly believable characters in backwoods America, apocalyptic futures or utopian worlds of wonder; they tell incredibly human stories set among grand vistas in space or among the claustrophobic nightmare of the 1950s small town.

That’s who I like to read. My writing is a different story. I write with hesitation and I really dislike the actual process of writing. It doesn’t come easily to me, and I’m never sure if anything I do is actually worth reading.

It’s not that I have trouble with story or plot – they arrive whole into my brain, with beginnings and endings and every event, all sketched in faint lines. What I have to do is fill in the colour and block out the shapes, which is what I find difficult.

As far as what I write goes, it mirrors my reading habits – I feel drawn to the supernatural and technologically magical, as well as the darker side of human habits and personalities. This makes me a little wary of showing stuff to people sometimes, and also a little disturbed about it: if I can come up with the most horrific things to happen to my characters, what does that say about me as an individual? I sometimes need to be reassured that it isn’t the mark of a psychopath to write psychopaths, but Lottie and Gary both assure me that isn’t the case. I am thus reassured 😀

Anyway, those are my reading and writing habits: my fiction and me.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Frige’s-Day Round Up

Posted by That Other Mike on 13/06/2008

After Dunar’s recent unreasonable behaviour, which included throwing lightning bolts around like a mad bastard, this week’s round up is dedicated to the goddess Frige, who is much more reasonable and sweet-tempered than Dunar.

Lottie has a question or two about Clinton supporters who’ve said they’ll vote for McCain… The general idea is “What the hell are you thinking?!”, and it’s one that I can get behind; McCain promises to be not more of the same, but more and worse. Thought the Iraq war was bad now? Wait till your great grandkids have to go and fight under the McCain plan!

Kalliope over at Missing Mojo has a deconstruction of the flak being thrown around over the Sex and the City movie. It’s pretty clever and insightful.

Gary takes celebrities who whine about privacy to task, especially those who do so in public interviews. If you want to be private, try going away and leading a private life! He also adds the most recent update for Idiosyncratica. is keeping an eye on the media for the inevitable racism and misogyny directed towards Michelle Obama that will follow Barack Obama’s (presumptive) nomination (via Ms Andrist).

This discussion on feminist sex at Feministe has turned pretty interesting; while it was initially of mild interest, the comments have made it worth a read.

And finally, congratulations to Anxious Mofo, who’s been linked to by Conservapedia. I’m sure he’s honoured and inspired by their linkage; he shows his appreciation by deconstructing their feeble article on Atheism. Well worth a read.

Posted in Atheism, Odds and Sods, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Six Degrees of WordPress

Posted by That Other Mike on 09/06/2008

It's lard, it's lard!  It's big, it's heavy, it's fat.  It's lard, it's lard, it's better than bad, it's good.So I’m sitting around thinking about lard, and…

OK, yes. An explanation may be in order. Lard is my new wonder fat for cooking with. It’s got lots of unsaturated fats, less saturated fat than butter, and fries to a crispy finish. It also works very well in stuff – I made biscuits with it the other day that were just divine, dahlinks. Seriously, it’s like the best fat to work with, in cooking terms. The only thing to remember is to buy the refrigerated kind that is non-hydrogenated; the hydrogenated kind contains trans-fats, which are teh evol.

Short digression about lard: lard comes in various grades. The best is called leaf lard, which is made from fat around the loin and kidneys; the next one down is from the fatback, which is unsurprisingly on the pig’s back; and the least good grade is made from the caul covering internal organs. Most lard is made from a mixture of these fats. It has a high smoke point, a neutral flavour and is chock full of nice fats.

Anyway, so I’m sitting around thinking about lard, which leads me to start thinking about bacon, what with lard being rendered from the fatty parts of porkers. Bacon’s brilliant. And has anyone else seen this? The thing I love about this product is that it is actually kosher. Comedy genius.

Anyway, thinking about bacon obviously started me thinking about Kevin Bacon. He’s not as brilliant as actual (pigflesh) bacon, but he’s still pretty good. I liked Flatliners, and one of his films, Pyrates, which also stars his wife Kyra Sedgwick, is unjustly overlooked, in my not so humble opinion. Sure, it’s not Citizen Kane, but I liked it.

Which brings us not-so-neatly to the famous trivia game involving Kevin Bacon – six degrees of Kevin Bacon. The idea is an expansion of the famous (and somewhat inaccurate) axiom that there are never more than six degrees of separation between any two people in the world; there are, for example, four degrees of separation between me and George Bush – I have met my MP, who has met whichever non-entity happens to be current leader of the Liberal Democrats, who has met Tony Blair, who has met George Bush. The conceit of six degrees of Kevin Bacon is that any actor can be linked to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less, which leads to an actor’s Bacon number, the number of links between that actor and Bacon. Ronald Reagan, for example, had a Bacon number of 2; Matthew Perry has a Bacon number of 3, because he was in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip with Ed Asner, who was in JFK with Kevin Bacon.

While I was thinking about Bacon numbers and the like, I happened to have my browser open and I caught sight of a recent comment, and thus was a new meme born. It’s not exactly like SDoKB, but it evolved.

The way the meme works is this:

  1. Go to the latest comment you have from someone else. Go to the blog of the person who made it. If that person doesn’t have a blog, go to the next one.
  2. Click the latest comment on that blog from someone else. Go to the blog of the person who made it. If that person doesn’t have a blog, go to the next one.
  3. Do this again until you have gone six blogs away. If anyone on the way doesn’t have a latest comments widget, just pick the first comment you see.
  4. Post about it. Tag at least a couple of other people.

Mine went:

  1. Anxious Mofo commented on Thor is Angry!
  2. Paul from Cafe Philos commented on Finally, someone takes a stand against irritating celebrities
  3. Lirone commented on The Rain at Dawn
  4. Michelle commented on Little boy’s toy…
  5. noahthegreat commented on Monday Mural, and…
  6. Bob at Average Poet commented on Actions…

I tag Gary and Lottie.

Currently listening to:
ShivareeI Oughta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump

Milla JovovicThe Divine Comedy

Posted in Odds and Sods | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Thor is angry!

Posted by That Other Mike on 07/06/2008

Thor is righteously pissed off!Thor is angry because I failed to do a round up in his honour on Thor’s-Day last. Ordinarily, I would’ve posted a late one on Friday, but I was busy putting out the fires caused by Thor throwing lightning bolts at my house.

First on the weekly round up is Part 3 of Lottie’s Getting to Know You series, in which she talks about a couple of things about long distance relationships which might sound funny or superficial in isolation but which are nonetheless legitimate concerns: What if the other person has personal hygiene problems, or you’re not sexually compatible?

Idiosyncratica, the readers’ and writers’ blog ring which Gary came up with, and of which I am now a member, is still high on the agenda. We’re still developing it, but we hope that aspiring writers of fiction will drop by and get involved; there’s hopefully going to be a certain amount of material for dedicated readers in search of new and interesting fiction.

Anxious Mofo has come up with a rather genius idea, which he has modestly entitled the Anxious Mofo Index. I think it’s probably going to come in handy; someone needs to invent some kind of algorithm or measurement for it (along the lines of the Hovind Scale).

Jill at Feministe details how reading fundie pro-life blogs rots your brain. I don’t pretend to be entirely comfortable with abortion, and I would, on an expanded definition which I get to define, call myself “pro-life” in one sense, but I’m also not so hide-bound as to think my uncomfortable feelings should constitute law.

Over at EvolutionBlog, Jason Rosenhouse reviews Dawkins’s latest book, which goes by the name of The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, an edited anthology of science essays by professional scientists. I stress the “professional scientists” part, because that is what makes it interesting; too many times in recent years, the Anxious Mofo Index in science has dipped towards 0, often as the result of ignorant journalists.

Current music:
The Filthiest Show in Town, by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult

Ten Summoner’s Tales, by Sting.

Coming soon – a new meme, zombie flicks and some other stuff.

Posted in Atheism, books, Odds and Sods, science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Aaarrr, Jim Lad, and other pirate noises

Posted by That Other Mike on 29/05/2008

Over the weekend, I developed some pain in my lower back. I was rather mystified, as I hadn’t done anything to injure it that I knew of, and it seemed to go away on Monday.

Tuesday saw it come back and be quite painful, and yesterday I was off work all day. It wasn’t a constant pain, but it would twinge and be excruciating, and it seemed to have extended into my right hip, as well. I managed to get up and get dressed, but I couldn’t make it even to the end of the street before it got too bad for me to handle, and so I spent the day at home, saying “Ow…” every so often and feeling self-pitying.

Luckily as it happens, on Tuesday I’d made an appointment with the doctor for today, and I managed to hobble up there this morning to see him.

Apparently the problem is in the Sacroiliac joint, and it is called Sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Basically, it’s a problem of movement where the spine joins the pelvis; it’s very common, usually remedies itself through movement and often comes from simply sleeping in a funny position.

There’s not much to be done about it in the short term except to swallow painkillers and attempt to maintain a normal range of movement. If it remains a persistent problem, I can visit a chiropractor (I would only ever visit a McTimoney’s practitioner, of which there is a school locally). For now, I just have to wait and hope it’ll work itself out.

He also gave me a huge prescription for cocodamol; while I can usually buy it over the counter, it’s also relatively expensive to do so. This way, I get my 200(!) pills for just the cost of a prescription charge, which is cool.

So, nothing to worry too hard about. On the negative side, I did forget to ask about getting a refill on my sleeping pills, even though I don’t use them that often. Oh, well. I can manage without. I have a few left.

* * *

In other news, today is the last day for you to nominate douchebags and arseholes for the anti-carnival; I have a large number, which I will be whittling down to a small core of evil shitheadery for Friday.

Please feel free to nominate anyone who’s annoyed you lately.

* * *

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here are your weekly recommendations in honour of Thor.
Cosmodaddy has an interesting and well thought-out piece on his blog at the moment regarding the intersection of various conflicting rights and freedoms under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) Regulations 2007. Well worth a read.

Despite being a massive jerk most of the time, Robert over at Expat Yank has a legitimate criticism piece up about the rise of sensationalist public service messages by the UK government.

The ever-clever Greg Laden has a guest blogger doing a statistical experiment about the levels of science present in science blogs.

Lottie has A Question of Ethics, in which she discusses the ethics of blogging about personal issues and problems in a truthful manner while using a pseudonym.

Gary talks about Hollywood woo and stupidity, illustrating exactly why Sharon Stone’s opinion on anything besides acting should not be taken seriously.

Helen at Bird of Paradox wrote a little while ago about gender neutral pronouns and the attempt to bring in artificial GNPs.

That’s all for now, folks.

Edit: Ampersand has a good post about the minimum wage over at Alas, A Blog, relating to Krueger and Card’s well-known studies. Definitely worth reading.

Posted in news, Odds and Sods | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »