Tag Archives: Shaggy Blog Stories

Thank Heavens It’s Friday

Well at least it is the weekend tomorrow. As you can probably gather from my post from lunchtime, today was anything if not frustrating. After establishing that there was probably something installed on my development machine that was causing the problem, hence why the laptop was loading up the control I set about un-installing anything that wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately after an afternoon of removing one thing after another, and testing the project again, all with no success, by the end of the afternoon I was ready to drop-kick the whole PC out of the window. Hopefully Monday will shine a new light on the problem, either that or I’ll try and code around it.

Anyway, onto less frustrating things. I had a nice surprise when I got home, my copy of Shaggy Blog Stories, the book of UK blog postings put together by Mike Atkinson. For an internet published book, with effectively word-of-mouth advertising it’s doing pretty well. Apparently it sold over 250 copies in the first 40 hours, and the running tally on Mike’s site puts the current total at 410 copies, raising a fantastic £1821.22 for Comic Relief. If you haven’t ordered a copy, I can heartily recommend getting hold of a copy. Some of the names you’ll know, others you won’t, but there are certainly a lot of laughs. Incidentally, did you know that candles only burn if they are facing east? Neither did I – see, the book is educational too!

On a related point, this is the first book I’ve ordered from Lulu.com, the print-on-demand publishing service. Essentially it allows budding authors to publish their own work, and since each copy is printed when it is ordered, and the service handles all the production and shipping, it is a pretty straightforward way to get your book published. Certainly looking at my copy of Shaggy Blog Stories compared to a ‘normal’ book, aside from the missing barcode and ISBN number, it is pretty well indistinguishable, certainly in terms of the quality of manufacture. Having seen the finished article, it definitely seems like a good way to publish in small numbers, perhaps for books at the Church or something like that.

Since we’ve had a busy couple of weeks – I’ve had meetings, rehearsals, lent courses and all sorts meaning I’ve been out pretty well every night for the past few weeks – we had a catch-up session with programmes we have recorded tonight. We got through one episode of Heroes, two episodes of West Wing, and got up to date with this weeks episodes of EastEnders. I’ve mentioned West Wing loads of times before, and even linked in to clips, however I don’t think I’ve mentioned Heroes up to now.

The premise of Heroes has definite roots in the comic book genre with a large ensemble of apparently disconnected characters around the world starting to discover that they have strange powers. So we have a Texas Cheerleader who discovers that she is able to spontaneously regenerate, even at one point coming back to life in the middle of her own autopsy. There is also a Japanese programmer who discovers that he can manipulate the space/time continuum, tele-porting himself around the world and through time. There are also characters who are telepathic, characters who can fly and characters who can walk through walls. The show has been hailed as ‘the next Lost‘, in whose footsteps it certainly seems to have followed in terms of popular reception. It also seems to have followed along in terms of having a large ensemble cast, and in which the story is the main thing – so there is always the possibility that popular and apparently central characters will not survive. It is also similar in that there are many details to spot that may be missed by the casual viewer. Ironically, as Lost seems to be getting somewhat lost itself in it’s third season – certainly lacking the plot twists that kept you gripped before, Heroes seems to be taking it’s place in terms of complex and surprising plot twists. Certainly it’s got us hooked.

Anyway, thank heavens it’s Friday. We’ve not got much on this weekend, so it’s a good chance to sit back, read Shaggy Blog Stories, and watch the countdown to the new Doctor Who. 😀

Having a Laugh with Comic Relief

Yesterday, this years Comic Relief appeal reached it’s climax with eight hours of TV on BBC1 and BBC2. Yet again it pulled in the donations at a fantastic rate, reaching the fantastic total of £40,236,142 by the end of the night (as a comparison, the BBC’s own Children in Need managed £18,300,392 last year).

The show included the conclusion of The Apprentice Does Comic Relief, that I wrote about yesterday. It finished up with Sugar choosing between Campbell and Morgan for the nominal firing – he went for Morgan in the end, which had been hinted at from the start in that in his start of show interview he was the only one seen commenting that he didn’t want to get fired! To be honest the best moments of that can be found in the first part of the show on Thursday – Campbell and Morgan trying to get the other one fired was amusing, but really a postscript to the main programme.

As usual, the show included a mix of hard hitting documentary sequences showing some of the areas the appeal aims to help in both the UK and Africa, and special comedy sketches. The comedy sketches were a bit hit or miss, with the Vicar of Dibley special, whilst having some funny moments, not being the best, and a live Mitchell and Webb sketch that was greeted with pretty well total silence by the live audience. However, Harry Hill provided what was pretty well a TV Burp Greatest Hits, and there were some star studded sequences from the special Little Britain Live. Peter Kay produced a memorable musical number to follow up Amarillo from last time. This time it was the old Proclaimers number, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)â€? along with Matt Lucas. The video includes an unbelievable range of celebrities, including Lord Lucan and Shergar according to the credits. The video and song are available from iTunes and is going for a record in terms of being the fastest selling online song – we’ve been star spotting in the video, and about the only non-dead celeb who is credited that we can’t spot so far is David Beckham.

The sketches that we laughed at most though, were two of the Catherine Tate ones with a variety of famous people. The first includes David Tennant as a new English teacher, which if you watch, you’ll realise quite why Beth likes it…

The second was just amazing, as it includes Tony Blair, who actually gets a number of the funny lines…

All of the Catherine Tate sketches from the night, together with some bonus material will be available on DVD on April 9th, and is available from Amazon amongst others.

Whilst on the subject of fund-raising goodies, check out Shaggy Blog Stories, a book of one hundred funny blog postings pulled together by Mike Atkinson, and including contributions from a real mix of famous and not so famous UK bloggers, including Dave Walker from Cartoon Church.