A heart-warming time for … firefighting

Friday 6 December 2013, 6.00pm HKT

Christmas intensifies. Like this.

wtf do we do nao fire extinguisher

Wut’re we gonna do nao? (Click image for larger size)

“Can’t touch this. Dun, dun-dun dun…”

smoke detector

Smell the aroma of your money burning away

(Images via c4c and Lane Rurar Fire/Rescue)



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13418)

A walking, talking kind of fail

Tuesday 26 November 2013, 6.30pm HKT

5.36pm local time, 20°C (68°F), overcast and cool

Stowing stuff away when I happened upon a note of mine from last year.

My note dated 14 June 2012

14 June 2012.
Some people never learn. Nearly a year of silence, and DW
only manages to email me one measly message of 25 words.
Unf**kingbelievable. By the 5th word, it’s the same setup —
asking for advice, but never saying what advice being asked for.
Some people are born organic versions of spam.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13396)

D’you not know your own traditions?

Monday 18 November 2013, 12.53am HKT

EVERYONE is desperate for money and looking for all sorts of crass ways to generate some moolah.

xmas tree festival walk

You’re tempting fate, mate
(hat tip to M.K.L.)

I hate to break the latest news to some of you, but just sayin’:—

Traditionally, the ‘Yule tree’ is put up on the 23rd December, or no earlier than the 20th December.

For Catholics, particularly those in Italy and Latin America, it can be put up earlier on Immaculate Conception (1st December), mainly on the entertaining idea that Catholics are considered more ‘devout’ than any other version of Christians.

(We’ll leave the meaning of ‘devout’ to our respective personal definitions. Your opinion requires self-assembly, just as IKEA furniture does.)

Not very interestingly, the Christmas tree was originally a German tradition dating back to the 16th century, and brought to the English-speaking world in the late 19th century by Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, consort to Queen Victoria of Great Britain. All the other Europeans wondered why it took 300 years for the Christmas tree to sink into English heads.

the terminator csm 101 by sob666

This version of Father Christmas will come visiting if you don’t listen
… if your credit-card debt hasn’t taken you down first
(artwork by R-Clifford at DeviantArt)

It is taken down on 6th January, Old Christmas Day, the day after Twelfth Night (5th January a.k.a. Epiphany Eve), which is the formal end of seasonal credit-card warfare … ahem … I mean, Yuletide.

To have a Christmas tree up before or after these dates is considered bad luck. No wonder everything is a friggin’ shambles nowadays.

Which is why John Connor was ‘terminated’ on 4th July 2032 by the Terminator Model T101.

You have been told, saps.

xmas latex glove tree 92067

“Blrrrbbb” (via m4f)



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13383)


Tuesday 9 July 2013, 12.18pm HKT

‘FUI’ stands for Fantasy User Interfaces.

fui korean dish

Pork cutlet and rice from Sindaebang, Korea
a.k.a. Dom João (King John) Cutlet, originally of Portugal

And we’re not talking about the term coined by Mark Coleran in the world of computer games.

This is a mildly racist post — which it is — which it isn’t — which it is — which it could be — which it couldn’t possibly be — unless you’re operating at the speed of stupidity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Overthinking, overtanking

Wednesday 5 June 2013, 5.11am HKT

4.36am local time, 26°C (78°F), hot and humid with some rain patches

YOU will tank yourself out if you overthink, instead of simply thinking inside the box for a solution, never mind thinking outside the box.

Read the rest of this entry »

Interlude: Fiction

Monday 17 December 2012, 3.00am HKT



THE FARAWAY MOUNTAINS decided to give Alexander the destiny he so yearned for.

Hair ruffling in the dusty morning breeze, he took just one sip from the waterbag, and matter-of-factly passed it on to the next person, a nobody among a phalanx of nobodies whose only motivation to push on was to share in Alexander’s dream.

Alexander’s eyes squinted ever so slightly at the mountains. The path beneath his boots parched under the sun and the breeze, with dust rising behind each step the men made as if to contradict them.

The waterbag came round to Alexander again. And he poured the remaining mouthfuls to the ground. He was making a choice for all to see — to be with, and for, his men.

caucasus mountain ufo 14296307 123rfdotcom

People around UFO landing in the Caucasus Mountains.

(Image by Youry Ermoshkin via 123RF.com)


Oh, bloody hell!

I CAN’T do it.

This fiction stuff is just too bleedin’ hard to do!

How do others manage to write this crap esteemed genre anyway?

No sooner have I got that imagery in my head, it fizzles and fritters away. Whatever few abject ideas I could generate, it just goes away completely at the sight of my lovely black-pig Iberico ham (from Andalucia, Spain), semi-hard cheese, and chilled Terra Roja white wine (also from Spain).

food serrano ham 2012 1213

This IS a real distraction to my productivity



My very first job in the incestuous world of publishing was that of a ghostwriter for a London publishing house best remembered for their (trashy) romance novels. It also publishes scientific titles, but roman was the genre that made it the most money.

‘Write something readable for the sales to sell’

I got the job by accident.

The regular ghostwriter/editor went on maternity leave. I was cheap (in price, that is) and literate enough (being able to read and type addresses on envelopes). I was hired on the strength of having written some crap for my school magazine and good in layouts (a useless skill for novels, by the way).

The ‘novelist’ in question left a ‘manuscript’ (or a broad interpretation of one) with the publisher. It was just a bulletpoint plan of each chapter, actually. The editor in question was told to go crawl into a corner and “write something readable for the sales to sell.”

After two or three months of writing or typing furiously on bits of paper, index cards and probably toilet paper, my first and only romance ghostwriting effort came to a thankful end when my publisher told me I was crap at this game.

Still, the publisher thought I was good enough to keep around (especially for the envelope-writing part of the work), and transferred me to the Science Department to work on chemistry titles.

Cigarette ash and scum

The Chemistry Editor told me,

“You certainly have shown a flair for chemistry, just that it’s not the kind of chemistry they’re looking for in Romance [Department].”

The Romance and Fiction Editor was a right bitch of a Fag-Ash ’Lil sourpuss. Every day she came into the office wearing that soured-up poe-face of hers. The tea was always too hot, too cold, too bitter, too sweet, too something or other with her. She’s always making a mess of the place with her Mount Vesuvius-like cigarette ash and scum from pencil rubbers. She was around 40-ish, an ex-Beatle groupie type turned ex-punk, and was the most unnaturally unromantic — most romantically offputting? — woman ever.

I’ll give Fag Ash Lil this:— She was farkin’ brilliant churning out romantic scenes with heavy doses of sexual innuendos of the pseudo-lesbian-threesome-jackhammer-it-right-in-there genre. This woman knows how to ghostwrite shitty romance novels that SELL, baby! With her dyed jet-black hair and fairly decent cleavage, short Ra-Ra skirts, practically no underwear, fag on lips constantly, you could see why many of the publisher’s male authors were ‘in tune’ with her.

I’m sorry, peep’l, I just don’t have what it takes inside me to write fiction.

And much fun was had by all, and so to bed.


[You’re fired for not putting in more sexual innuendos.—Editor]



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Image by Youry Ermoshkin via 123RF.com. (B12450)

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