Archive for July 2016

Machines in a bad mood

July 30, 2016

Nostalgia- from the Greek “nostos” return home and “algos” pain. An ache for the past.

(The following to be read as swiftly as possible and in a big shouty, excitable voice)

Cheer up Draper-Man, there’s no need to ache for the past. The big wheel has come round again. Yes Roboteers, Robot Wars is back on the small screen and available to watch on Sundays. Or on catch up or your hard drive or a pod cast or your mate’s phone or I don’t know…other places. So many choices nowadays. Last shown in 2004 when I heard Robot Wars was making a comeback I partied like it was 2001: a Space Odyssey.

This technological battle of the bots leaves Formula One trailing in its wake. No overtaking just Carnage, pure and simple. The destruction in this combat of Robots makes Rollerball look like a sugar plum fairy ballet. It makes the Terminator look like John Inman. Jack Bauer would take the day off if he thought it was going to be like this. Falconetti would…oh OK, you get the picture.

The main point is its back and all the old features are still there. The house robots still patrol their spots and attack any intruders, the arena has its areas of danger and the booming vocal cords of Jonathan Pearce are behind the microphone commentating on the Cyborgian catastrophe prevailing in the pit.

The bespoke robots entered in the contests all have their own mechanical monikers. episode one of the new series saw such gems as  Behemoth, Kill-E-Crank-E, Nuts, Razer  and Terrorhurtz. It is a show that even watching the credits is exciting. With lots of old electrical appliances and some junk bicycles stagnating in the loft, all I need is a soldering iron and I’m in the game. And lucky me, I get to give my robot a name.



Webbing Day

July 17, 2016

It was with great anxiety that I entered the hall of Starbucks. This was my first time in the venue and I scanned the clientele to see if there were any insect haters. My spider-sense said no but you can never be too careful so I tippy-toed a rat-a-tat on my claws along the floor to the counter. Just call me the arachnid Fred Astaire.

The Starbuckian staff seemed professional and courteous. The rumours of this being a controversial coffeehouse were unfounded. The only controversy was the price of the scones. I chicaned round these lumps of pastry as it was only fluid I was after. Without fluid I can’t make a web. You can’t imagine a world without a web. Can you?

This didn’t seem the right place for a Tetley so I forgoed my tea jenny long legs addiction and descended into a cup of coffee, my first cup of coffee.  It shivered me timbers as my Urticating hairs meerkated into the air. It carouseled my carapace and sent my spinnerets to Detroit and back. I slurped some more. In an instant I was hooked.

Then I surveyed the scene more closely. They had more exotic drinks than coffee on offer. My eyes could see the names of frappuccino, cappuccino, macchiatos and mochas on the team sheet. I noticed that Balotelli had been dropped again.

It was really warm for July and my  opisthosoma was sweating. I needed something cool and I saw the very thing- An Iced Shaken Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade which consists of a layered blend of green tea, juicy blackberry, mint, and a splash of lemonade—shaken not stirred with ice. I wouldn’t be the spider I was today if I wasn’t always prepared. I pulled out a pair of Speedo Spider Shorts from my back pack and budgie smuggled into them.

I’m not a Beatle but couldn’t resist singing a wee tune before plunging into the pool. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, Little darling.

I was having the whale of a time. My Pedipalps were getting good exercise doing alternate kicks and I could do a bit of surfing using an ice cube. Then the place was drying up. The tea was being dredged by a tube submerged in the glass. A vortex was being created and slowly I was being sucked into the whirlpool. Don’t tell me these humans are going to eat spiders during the day as well as the night.


Famous firsts and infamous worsts

July 9, 2016

First time in a pub: was 15, was smuggled in by older boys, had three vodkas and orange, was stretchered out.

Son’s first cup of coffee: I don’t drink the stuff and neither do the offspring, though my younger son decided to take the plunge into the unknown for experimental reasons. He said “JW Jnr’s first cup of coffee”. After much gurning and vomiting he said “JW Jnr’s last cup of coffee!”

First ever video recorder owned: Betamax!!!! The boffins at school claimed it was the superior technological weapon in the VCR wars. Wonder if I still have time to make a claim for Betamax mis-sold information. In the end the hegemony of VHS was ended by DVD. In hindsight, maybe the makers of Betamax should have abbreviated their product: BTX.

First time ever I saw your face: First heard this on the underrated Clint Eastwood film, Play Misty for Me, sung by Roberta Flack. Multitude of singers have covered this song. One of the best is the haunting version by Johnny Cash.

First blog ever written: Was on Bebo ( who remembers Bebo?). It was a strange tale of me in the waiting room at the doctor’s sitting beside some famous figures. I asked Darth Vader if his sore throat was getting better. As debuts go, it was a precocious start. It’s been downhill ever since.