The Wheel of Death

10 February 2008

Sainsbury’s food has a “Wheel of Health” pie chart thing on it, which tells you how bad for you it is. It has colour-coded segments for calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt.

About the only thing brightening up my shopping trips since they introduced this system has been the hunt for the “Wheel of Death” - with all the segments red. Usually their cakes come pretty close, but are hampered by a lack of salt. But today my quest is at an end, for I have found the holy grail in Sydenham, in the shape of an Oriental Meal for Two.

It’s a shame they’ve tried to mitigate the Wheel of Death with a feeble attempt to tell us that it is, in fact, free of MSG, hydrogenated fats and arsenic. But they’re not fooling anyone. It will basically kill you.


Quest 4.03 now available

9 February 2008

Quest 4.03 is now available.If you’ve already got Quest or Quest Pro, the easiest way to update is by selecting “Check for updates” from the “Help” menu in Quest or QDK. If you’re not already a user, you can download Quest from http://www.axeuk.com/quest/

Here’s what’s new:

QDK

  • The Script Editor's functions are now available from a menu (with keyboard shortcuts) as well as from the toolbar.
  • Added "Allow players to use abbreviated object names" game option.
  • Slightly increased the size of the Object Type box to display correctly in Windows Vista.
  • If QCompile is launched from QDK and fails to compile the file, it now displays error information.
  • Fixed bugs:
    • a run-time error occurred when removing a synonym.
    • double-clicking a script line in the Script Editor would cause it to be changed.

Quest

  • The command entry box now uses the same font and fontsize as the game.
  • You can now turn off the player's ability to use abbreviated object names, by adding "abbreviations off" to the "define options" block.
  • Quest now writes an error to the ASL log if an internal error occurs while running a script command, instead of quitting with an error message.
  • Fixed bugs:
    • fixed run-time error when opening some large games.
    • fixed problem where "if" statements of the form "if ... then if ... and/or ... then ..." would be processed incorrectly.
    • QCompile wouldn't add a WAV file to a CAS if the playwav command did not include the file extension.
    • a run-time error would occur if the "clone" command was used in an object's "action" script.

Rejection

1 February 2008

Plenty of comedy is about rejection, so I suppose I should look on the bright side of me dropping out of the Laughing Horse Arbitrary New Act of the Year Competition in the first round - it provides plenty of fuel for my comedy fire.

I was a bit annoyed by it really. I’d watched a different heat the day before, and they’d put through six out of fourteen acts into the second round. So I thought I had a pretty good chance.

I was on about half-way through the second half and was pretty pleased with my performance - plenty of big laughs, definitely up there with the best ones in that round, or so I thought. And if they let through about half of the acts, it should be in the bag.

Well they say pride comes before a fall. I discovered this remains true even if the pride is strictly internal.

I was rather shocked when they announced that they were going to put through three people instead of two - I was expecting about double that, based on the previous evening. But then I was a fool to expect any rationality in a comedy competition. The whims of the judges and organisers were against me this time. Oh well.

It’s not the first time I’ve experienced a comedy rejection, and it certainly won’t be the last. Here are a couple of previous rejections (admittedly from quite a while back):

“Only a few of the lines made me laugh”. Thanks “HP”. That’s surely better going than a lot of BBC sitcoms. Not that I’m still bitter about this letter, eight years on.

Hmm, I’m pretty sure “Recommendation: Writer shows promise” must have been the lowest level of comedy rating as well. Surely they wouldn’t have the balls to say “clearly no talent whatsoever”?

This one was at least a bit more helpful - it told me in a bit more detail just how my sitcom was crap. And to be fair, it was really, really crap.

Apparently that guy from Hat Trick, Pete Atkin, used to do musical collaborations with Clive James, and was the voice of a minor character in the Wallace and Gromit film. Ho hum - probably no need to write in to Comedy Connections just yet. One day I hope to have somewhat less tenuous links with the comedy world. But if I’m going to get there I’m going to have to face a hell of a lot more rejection first.


Video: "Sleep"

12 January 2008

Here’s a video of my first stand-up set, “Sleep”, seen here performed in Chalk Farm as part of the end-of-course showcase.

Thanks to Andy Lydon for filming this and Neil Cremin for editing.


Upcoming Gigs

12 January 2008

I have three gigs coming up at different venues, so please come along if you can: 

Thursday 24th January: The Whoopie Cushion, Camden The Camden Tup, 2-4 Greenland Place, NW1 0AP Doors open 8pm, show starts 8.30pm.

Sunday 27th January: Laughing Horse, Richmond - first heat of the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year competition The Britannia, 5 Brewers Lane, TW9 1HH Doors open 8pm, show starts 8.30pm.

Monday 11th February: Electric Mouse Big Ben, Westminster Red Lion Pub, 48 Parliament Street, SW1A 2NH Doors open 7.30pm, show starts 8pm.

If you only come to one of these, come along to the Laughing Horse and vote for me (unless you think I was shit).


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