Author Archives: Les

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 May 2016

Weight: 227.7 pounds (16 stone 3.7 pounds, 103.3 kg)
Steps taken: 2,085

Bother, up another little bit today. Must do something about that. Sometime. When I get it together. Whatever it is.

Anyway, it’s the start of a loooooooooooong weekend, and here’s a slightly grungy take on the Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/1250s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:30, 7 May, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 26 May 2016

Weight: 227.3 pounds (16 stone 3.3 pounds, 103.1 kg)
Steps taken: 2,875

No change today, which makes a change from the usual changes.

Here’s another one of those Birmingham sculptures:

Aaaand relax...

Aaaand relax…

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/140s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 08:11, 16 May, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 24 May 2016

Weight: 224.8 pounds (16 stone 0.8 pounds, 102 kg)
Steps taken: 3,124

Mutter, mutter, up again today. More random thingies, probably.

On reflection, I quite like this one:

On Reflection...

On Reflection…

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/280s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:33, 7 May, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 23 May 2016

Weight: 223.5 pounds (15 stone 13.5 pounds, 101.4 kg)
Steps taken: 2,098

Back down a bit today, as the ongoing odd oscillations, err, do something beginning with O.

Here’s some more Birmingham sculpture

Hulk Smash?

Hulk Smash?

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/140s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 08:06, 16 May, 2016


Weight and Stuff Report – 22 May 2016

Weight: 224 pounds (16 stone, 101.6 kg)
Steps taken: Hardly any

Now there’s a thing, back up today, it the RNG is to be believed.

It’s  been an inactive Sunday, mostly because my shoulder has decided to start being annoying again, mutter.

Here’s another photo from Cullercoats:

Open Day

Open Day

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 55mm
ISO 400
Taken 13:46, 14 May, 2016

Robert Rankin – The Suburban book of the Dead – Armageddon III: The Remake

Yes, it’s another entry in the Great Robert Rankin Re-read-athon already. But for reasons of needing a (relative) sanity break and having some other things I need to read, it’ll be the last for a little while[1].

First published in 1992, this takes the Armageddon Trilogy to its end – yes a trilogy with only three books in it, which seems a bit odd, but there you go.

It’s 2061 in Paradise, and our hero Rex Mundi is digging a hole for reasons that I won’t go into. When he digs up a statue of Elvis Presley, he’s a little surprised. He’s even more surprised when it’s stolen by a couple of collectors in a Volvo. His surprise level reaches even greater heights, when, having stowed away in the unexpectedly large rear of the Volvo, he finds himself in Presley City, where not wearing blue suede shoes is a serious offence, and indeed, Elvis is the one true deity.

While Rex is being surprised, we switch to first person narration for a word from Lazlo Woodbine (some call me Laz), down at heel private eye in the 1950s mould, despite being from a different century altogether.

And we have the happy return of Barry the Time Sprout.

And the less happy return of some other, less pleasant to know characters.

Can Rex, Lax and Barry prevent the destruction of the city? Will the other Rex get his way? Will you get confused as the action shifts without warning from one place to another? Will there be a final roof-top confrontation? And will everything be tied up and explained properly at the end?

The answers to at least some of these questions may be found in this book. Along with the usual quota of running gags, characters arguing about needing a better part in it, and more twists than a very twisty thing.

All very, very silly, and loads of fun.

[1] Exact duration dependent on this and that

Weight and Stuff Report – 21 May 2016

Weight: 221.5 pounds (15 stone 11.5 pounds, 100.5 kg)
Steps taken: 2,720

Down again, would you believe? I’m not sure I do, as the scale has this habit of making up numbers to mess with my mind…

After the shopping, I went into Newcastle to see the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the Laing. It’s well worth a visit – lots of illustrations, books, bits and even bobs.  And then I came home.

Here’s another one from my recent coastal visit, a well-known landmark at Cullercoats:

Is that the tme already?

Is that the tme already?

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/750s
Focal length 115.3mm
ISO 200
Taken 13:40, 14 May, 2016

Robert Rankin – They Came and Ate Us – Armageddon II: The B-Movie

Moving along with the Great Robert Rankin Re-read-athon, we come to the second in the Armageddon Trilogy. This was first published by Bloomsbury in 1991, and my trade paperback is well, yes, an actual first edition. If my memory is accurate (and be fair, it’s been a while, I’ve been asleep since then, etc, etc), I got it from a strange thing called a “book club”, which was how we used to buy books by something called “mail order” in those pre-Amazonian days. The club in question did softcover versions of books otherwise available only in more expensive hardbacks. This one must have appealed it me at the time when I saw its description in the quaintly printed monthly (or thereabouts) newsletter thingy. Either that, or it was the monthly (or thereabouts) selection which they’d send to you if you didn’t get around to telling them not to. I suspect the former rather than the latter, but I could be wrong (it’s happened at least once before, I think it was on a Tuesday). But I, as is so often the case, digress. Though it wouldn’t be Losing it without a digression or six, would it?

So, this follows on, more or less, give or take, from Armageddon: The Musical. Following the quite literal deus ex machina ending of that one, the revived earth is a paradise. Our hero Rex Mundi is married to Christeen (twin sister of Jesus christ, edited out of the Bible, best not to ask) and living in profound happiness, so that’s not going to last, is it?

Meanwhile (err, no, not really, but once you start messing around with time travel, the grammar goes to pot, as Douglas Adams pointed out), in 1977, Elvis Presley has faked his death and headed off with Barry the Time Sprout.

And then there’s some fun with Jack Doveston, working on a project to digitise all the more interesting books, who accidentally manages to summon Rex Mundi through time.

And some nicely demonic entities.

And hackers.

And more nonsense than you could shake a shaky thing at.

And chapter headings relating more nonsense about Hugo Rune than anyone would wish to know.

And something approximating to the truth about the Nuclear Holocaust Event of 1999 that led to the mangled future world of the first book.

And a guest appearance from Pooley and Omally, heroes of the Brentford Trilogy!

And more characters complaining about not getting better parts!

Indeed, it’s pretty much at this point that Robert settles down (well, more doesn’t settle down, really) into the deranged self-referential style that we all know and love. Great and very silly fun, which made my journey to Birmingham much more enjoyable.