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March of the Internet Nobody, day twenty four: Friday doodle gif…

Just making it in under the wire, for today’s gif post to still be relevant, so I’ll keep it short and say; here’s a doodle gif for Friday.


Have a good weekend, see you tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in aardvark, Animation, Blogging

 

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March of the Internet Nobody, day twenty two: A gif at the end of the tunnel (flashing images)…

Today I am more encouraged, as I have had not one, but two tentative requests for gifs from readers who missed my original post, which I shall get around to in due course.

I already had an idea which I was playing around with for Todd and Dustin so I’m posting that today, but I shall start work on the requests tomorrow.

I apologise if the rather abrasive nature of this one isn’t for you, I quite understand; I was attempting to emulate, however amateurishly, David Lynch’s trademark strobe motif, which he uses to such powerful effect in many of his works.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in aardvark, Animation

 

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March of the Internet Nobody, day twenty: The gif that keeps on giving…

After my latest burst of animated creativity last week, making the gif for Todd and Dustin that I posted yesterday, I had an idea for this week’s theme; a personalised custom gif giveaway, a gifaway if you will.

Yes I’m offering a lovingly crafted, unique, exclusive and free animated gif, for one person each day this week.

So, whether you’d like me to make something for you to display on your blog, or you just fancy a weird screensaver for your phone, the first person to make a request in the comments of this post will receive a mystery gif to do with as they please.
You may specify the photo to be used, or I can do something strange with your blog avatar, or you can have a lucky dip and just see what I come up with for you, it’s entirely up to you.

But what I do with the source material will be up to me, ok?

In fact, I will take the first two requests today, to give me a chance to get started on the week’s task, then the first request from each day after that until Friday.

I have already had a quick muck about and made one for myself, using an old dalecooper57 graphic from the early days of Diary of an Internet Nobody as an example of the type of thing that can be done with a single image, see what you think.

 
 

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March of the Internet Nobody, day nineteen: Giffing woolly with it…

For this, the nineteenth installment of my daily blogging binge, I’m previewing another unhinged animated gif, inspired by the first guests in my week of reblogs.

You’ve met Todd and Dustin, the pair of writers who I featured in Monday’s post

This is them.

Well Dustin was admiring the work of The Woolhouse Boys on Friday, so I did him and Todd the honour of sweaterising them, like this…

…but that didn’t seem quite enough, somehow, so I decided to go one step further.

The beauty of all this mucking about with animation apps and editing tools is that I learn new skills every time. For instance, I realised that if you’re going to cut someone’s head off and leave a big hole in the picture, you need to reconstruct what would be in the background, if the head wasn’t in the way to start with.

All this fiddly photographic manipulation resulted in a rather warped and surreal reimagining of the beautiful garden in which our heroes were seated when the original photo was taken, but I hope that’s upstaged by the Gilliam-esque animation in the foreground.

See what you think.

I’ve yet to decide what, if any, the theme will be for my final full week of March’s marathon, but one thing’s for sure, it’s K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge tomorrow, so I’ll see you back here for that.

 
 

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Random photo mashup…

Did you hear the bizarre story this week, about Sky TV’s (unsurprisingly cancelled) drama about Michael Jackson, starring Joseph Fiennes?

Well I was chatting to a friend about that doomed project on Facebook today, which led to a discussion about which inappropriate actors could be cast as recently departed musical icons.

While she suggested that Samuel L Jackson and Denzel Washington should star in Wham: The Final Stand, I quite fancied the idea of David Bowie: Heroes to Ashes starring Ray Winstone and Lemmy: Last Wild Man of Rock with Peewee Herman in the lead role.

But my friend wasn’t convinced:

“Both good choices.  Though I fear they are a little too Caucasian to portray these roles effectively”

She was right, of course, so I reevaluated my decision to have everyone’s favourite short, stocky, East End hard man play the Thin White Duke and instead went for everyone’s favourite smoldering, six-packed, tortured hard man, Idris Elba.

This met with a great deal more enthusiasm, (to be honest, I think she’s got a bit of a weakness for him) so I thought I’d provide her with a visual interpretation of my casting idea and I was so pleased with the result that I’m sharing it with you, too.

You’re welcome.

{You’ll have to imagine Peewee as Lemmy, it was too disturbing to post} 

 

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Reblog: George Michael was killed in US airstrike claims Russia Today

Some satire, to lighten the sad news of another talented performer’s passing. Goodbye, George, we’ll miss your honesty and integrity…

SOZ SATIRE

George Michael Last Christmas? Yep, pretty much, and it’s all thanks to the Yanks says Russia Today

Following the death of pop superstar, George Michael last night, Russian media outlet, Russia Today, have sensationally claimed that Michael was killed by a guided missile fired from an American F16 fighter jet whose pilot was under direct orders from President Barack Obama to neutralise the Last Christmas star.

In a bulletin hours after the star’s death had been announced by his publicist, a Russia Today newsreader made the astonishing claim: “George Michael was targeted by the United States Airforce, no question. He was killed by a heat-seeking missile, specially programmed to target his oven when he opened the door to get the turkey out.

“Our heroic President, Vladimir Putin, tried to intervene when he learned of the plan, but Obama wouldn’t listen, just as he won’t listen when Mr Putin begs him to stop…

View original post 174 more words

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in aardvark, Blogging, Humour, Music

 

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So I married a superhero…

By now most of you know that my wife, Rhonda, is American, but what you may not know is that she’s also a superhero.

She is Spoon Woman.

When I got to know Rhonda, over five years ago now, she was just another American I could playfully wind up on Facebook. She was introduced to me by a mutual acquaintance and we soon became good friends, finding common ground in politics, music and literature, amongst other things. 
Even more amazingly, she shared my sense of humour and found my first forays into the writing entertaining, saying nice things about blog posts I sent her and generally coming across as one of the more sane and well-balanced Americans that I’d met, during my initial exploration of the internet in general and Facebook in particular.

She also told me she had fibromyalgia.

Ok, I’m guessing that if you know as much about fibromyalgia now as I did then, you’re probably reaching for a dictionary, or more likely opening a new window so you can Google it. So let me save you the trouble.

Have you ever pulled a muscle, or had cramp? 

Of course you have, everyone has had those “Uh-oh!” moments, the ones that result in you suddenly hopping round the bedroom at two in the morning, swearing your head off and trying to straighten your toes. Or that horrible sensation in your back when you try lifting something just that fraction too heavy and realise too late that you’re going to be wincing every time you bend over or get up from a chair for the next week.

Well, imagine that feeling, but all over your body.

All the time.

You can’t, can you? You literally cannot imagine it, because your brain quite rightly won’t allow you to synthesize that experience, any more than you can really remember just how bad toothache is. There is a failsafe in your brain which stops you experiencing pain, except when it is received as the kind of emergency warning signal that it’s designed to be.

If you put your hand in a fire, your brain tells your hand that it’s in pain, because that’s the quickest and most effective way to get the idiot who put it there to take it out.

Except that isn’t quite right. What’s actually happening is the nerves in your skin are telling your brain that your hand is burning and your brain, in reply, is telling your hand that it’s in pain.

But what happens if your nerves tell your brain that your hand is burning, even when there is no fire? What happens when your nerves tell your brain that your whole body is burning?

Put simply, Fibromyalgia (or “fibro” for short) does basically that; it causes neural transmitters to constantly send false positive pain signals to your brain, resulting in permanent, chronic and sometimes seriously debilitating pain, everywhere at once, all the time. The very idea of it is terrifying to me.

When Rhonda first casually mentioned her condition to me, during a chat on Facebook,  I didn’t quite know how to take it. I mean, here was a woman who looked after her daughter on her own and ran a special needs residential care home and seemed to work eighteen hour days, almost every day; that didn’t seem like someone who was in constant pain to me.

Maybe, I thought, you can just have “mild” fibro, perhaps it wasn’t all that serious after all. But that only went to show how little I knew of Spoon Woman’s abilities.

Rhonda once told me; “There are three ways fibro can affect you; you can let it take over your life, just lay in bed and give up; you can moderate your lifestyle to alleviate the impact it has on you; or you can just get on with it. I decided that I was going to just get on with it and I wasn’t going to let it affect my life.”

I was awed by her attitude at the time, having never met her in person and only having known her a short while, but I just accepted it and thought no more about it.

Fast forward a few years, she and Audrey are here in the UK, we’re married and Rhonda is working full time at the local chip shop. A dream come true.

Except that isn’t quite right. Dreams-come-true don’t usually feature constant pain, at least mine never have.

You’d never know to look at her, that Rhonda was anything other than the perfect loving wife and doting mother. She cooks, she cleans, she does laundry like there’s no tomorrow, anyone would think she was addicted to housework. You’d never know she’s in discomfort, that her myofascial tissue is screaming blue murder and her skin itches so badly she wants to scratch it off. You’d never know the muscles in her back are locked into solid knots, so bad she has to lie on a deep tissue massage roller in the evening to release the pain, or that she has hypersensitive pressure points on her skin that can deliver bolts of agony if touched.

You’d never know, because she is Spoon Woman and she knows how to best use her spoon supply 

When I was going through one of my regular fibro Q+A sessions with her the other day, Rhonda asked me if I’d ever heard the spoon analogy. Funnily enough, I hadn’t.

Imagine you have a finite supply of spoons and you need to “spend” a spoon in order to have the energy to do everyday activities: 

Get out of bed – one spoon. 

Take a shower – one spoon. 

Get dressed – one spoon.

Get the kids off to school – one spoon.

Drive to work – two spoons. 

Find somewhere to park – one spoon, etc etc…

The secret is, to portion out your supply throughout the day, so that you don’t find yourself out of spoons when you still have stuff you need to do. And, like the energy boost tokens you pick up in video games, extra spoons may be obtained through napping.

Naps are sacrosanct in our house, I’ve learned to respect the power of The Nap. And I collect spoons, too, in my way. 

If I see laundry that needs doing, or if I can take Audrey out and leave Rhonda to nap in peace, if I have time to do the housework before she gets home from work and insists on getting the vacuum cleaner out, then that’s one more spoon I’ve saved for her, so we can enjoy the times we have when we’re all here together.

I’m still awed by her, my superhero wife, now more than ever, as I learn more about what she has to deal with, every hour of every day. Because, like all of the other, secret and silent superheroes with “invisible” illnesses, to look at her, you’d never know.

{To read about the origin of Christine Miserandino’s  Spoon Theory in full, GO TO THIS LINK}

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in aardvark, Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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