Utter Insanity…Stamps and Pasties

Apologies for not posting much recently. There hasn’t been much to talk about…until now. Something that I was only made aware of today is the rise in stamps by 14p.

Ok, 14p doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you send off post regularly it all starts adding up. First class stamps are now 60p and second class stamps are 50p. Although, I’m sure the first class stamps at the post office near where I live are already 54p…I think. So that is most definately not going to be a 14p difference to get to 60p, unless they add 14p to the already 54p, which would make…hold on…68p!

Holy crud I’m rabbiting on! So my point is that the government are making us pay extra to send letters. And people moan about how technology is taking over our lives. Can you blame someone for wanting to send an email to a friend than pay an ever increasing prize to send a letter through the post? That’s what I thought.

And if the increase in stamp prize wasn’t bad enough there is also a tax on pasties. Yes you read correctly, PASTIES! That’s not good for us Cornish! Our trademark is being targeted! Not that I like pasties…much. They are okay I guess.

I think the government need to sort out their priorities right…or just step down entirely and let people in who know what they are doing and know what’s best for people, not just the rich. Greed is a sin.

 

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Talking Sausages Are Fake

Due to time slipping through my fingers for the upteenth time, I forgot to tell you about a book I finished three days ago. I finished it on my wonderful Kindle, so don’t get excited hardcopy lovers.

I am of course talking about Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the more morbid original versions of the tales that we all grow up with. Sleeping Beauty, for instance, was called Briar Rose and anyone who tried to get through the wall of brambles before the 100 hundred years had past got stuck and died horribly. Red Riding Hood doesn’t seem to have changed much, nor Snow White.

I have heard that the Grimm Brothers’ versions of the tales were really quite morbid and gory, so much so that they had to tone the contents down for the children of my generation and even before that. I don’t think they were nearly as half as bad as people made out. They were extremely weird, yes, I will give you that, but not horrible. Ok, there were a few that were a bit ‘wow what the hell, that’s not right’, but overall they seemed fine. Then again, in recent years I think I have been desensitised to gore and the like through games and other stories. Who knows?

I think one of the scarier weird stories in the book had to be the one entitled The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage, which sees a talking and walking sausage get eaten by a talking dog. Then the bird comes along and here is the quote that made me unsure as to whether I should laugh or cower in fear and the insanity of it:

The bird complained to the dog of this bare-faced robbery, but nothing he said was of any avail, for the dog answered that he found false credentials on the sausage, and that was the reason his life had been forfeited.

So this sausage was a fake. Could he have been a criminal in disguise?

See, now I’m going crazy.

A History of Blood

Just finished The Nosferatu Scroll by James Becker this morning. Not a bad read, if I do say so myself. Very good for the vampire and thriller lovers out there.

This is a story about faith and religion, twisted though it may be, as it’s also a story about, unfortunately, rape and murder. The plot line is good, right up to the end when I thought everything was okay, something else happens, and the end of the book ends on a ‘what if?’ scenario. It’s set in Venice, and really captures the history of the city really well, plus the beauty, but also the dark side of it as well. It also, at times, addresses the corruption of politics. Good combo, overall.

I learnt a lot about vampires from this novel. For instance, did you know that Bram Stoker was not the first person to come up with the idea of vampires in his classic novel Dracula? The idea of the vampire dates back much further than that, to around mediavel times. It was particularly associated with the Black Death, being the supposed cause for the plague. This is also where a lot of the ideas about vampires originated. Garlic, for example, was used in an attempt to help cure the disease. Also the idea of drinking blood dates back even further than that, as it was seen as a means to stay youthful and cure illnesses. It does, as you could guess, get a bit complicated. And technical.

But no, overall the book was a good read. So go and read it before I give away any of the plot line! Now, I will be reading off the Kindle for a while. I’m currently reading Grim’s Fairy Tales which are extremely weird…not going to lie.

Re-Kindled Love and Conversion

So I recently bought myself a Kindle. I can just hear you all now, groaning, grumbling and whining.

I used to hate the idea of reading any other way than by a hardback or paperback book, so it took me a while to decide to see what the device was like. Curiosity is to blame here. But I must say that I have been converted. I LOVE the Kindle. But don’t worry I still love having a good old fashioned book in my hands too.

So what’s so good about the Kindle? It does most things a book can do and more.  It reads like paper, and when you get used to it, using it is easy. Books for the device are usually cheaper than there hardcopy counter-parts and they never sell out. You can also book mark where you left off and highlight sections of text, something I find highly helpful as I have a habit of marking quotes in my books with bits of post-it notes. Plus you can turn it off and when you turn it back on again it returns you to where you left off. Pretty nifty. Plus you don’t have to carry big books around with you and it holds up to 1500 of them in one go…more than I could ever own or squash into my room! Space saved!

Of course, there is something tangible about the classic paper book. The smell of the pages, the feel of its weight in your hands…they are, to me, like old friends. That’s why I could never hate them. Then there’s the idea of being able to get them signed by the author. Not that I have done that yet. I wish. But you couldn’t do THAT with the Kindle. It’s also hard to flick through an eBook for references or even to look at the cover too easily. I have also heard that pictures are not very good on the device. However, I think the pictures are well visualised, but the downside is that they are always in black and white.

Nevertheless, I have fallen in love with the Kindle, but I’m sure once the novelty wears off I won’t mind which way I read…as long as I’m reading I’m happy. Besides, I don’t mind which way I read right now. I’m reading some short stories on the Kindle at the moment whilst simultaneously reading that vampire novel which I told you about a couple of posts back (which is indeed a hardcopy).

But what do you think? Kindle or hardcopy, or, like me, do you prefer both?

Taking the Scot

Ooo I feel all out of practise. I apologise for my lack of blogging. So to make up for it I bring you some more comedy in the form of Michael McIntyre, taking the mick out of the birth of the kilt. And I mean no offense to the Scots.

Before I share the video with you I just want to say I don’t know how I managed to be watching Michael again. I think it must have occurred when I was watching Mock the Week and in my recommended videos were videos for parts of Michael’s Comedy Roadshow, which this clip is from. I think this is my favourite joke by him, although I recently watched one simply entitled ‘Revolving doors’ which I found quite amusing, and may be in competition with this video for my favourite Michael joke.

Anyway, on to the clip! Warning: contains some strong language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YQIA_FEe3o&feature=g-vrec&context=G2a577e4RVAAAAAAAABw

Now that you have watched this video I thoroughly recommend you go and watch some more of him. Good day!

Where Are All the Books Going?

Another book has been finished! I’m on a roll…a swiss one because they are the best rolls EVER!

Uhmmm. Sorry, had a mad moment there. Anyway, I have indeed finished another a book. It is called The Death Collector by Justin Richards, who is, strangely, another author of the Doctor Who books. Actually, he is the Creative Director of them. I seem to have a habit of reading books by authors who have written for the Doctor Who franchise.

The book was ok. It wasn’t the best thing I have read, nor would I ever put it in my top 10, but it was still an interesting read. It’s set in Victorian London, has a zombie, a mechanical dinosaur and a freaky guy who wants to better the human race by combining them with steam engines, metal and dinosaur bones. It’s a bit weird…but hey, can’t complain.

Next on my list is a book about vampires.

And yes, I’m still mourning the loss of The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini and also my beloved Murtagh, so much so that I now have a crush on Garret Hedlund who plays him in the film.

Just a Quick One Guv

Somehow I managed to read a whole book in just a day. I suppose the facts that it was a rather short book and also a really good one by my favourite author had something to do with it…or everything.

I am, of course, talking about the marvellous Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World by the brilliant author Mr Derek Landy, known by his ‘Minions’ as ‘The Golden God’. No joke. He is a-maz-ing!

Anywho, this new book was for World Book Day, so was rather short. And good. But I think I have already mentioned that. Oh well. It sees our favourite detective duo facing another small case, that could result in the end of the world, so perhaps not so small after all. I won’t give away to much for you avid fans out there, but it involves a Doomsday Machine, a kid named Ryan who isn’t who he thinks he is, violence, magic and a ton of sarcasm. My personal favourite.

And my favourite bit had to be the security guard. Read it and you might have some clue as to what I am on about…or not. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Now all that’s left to do is wait for the next book in the series, which comes out this September. Lovely-jubly.