ECT

Last night I had Sausages and Mash for dinner. Well, Sausages at 6 O’Clock and Mash at Midnight; does that count as Sausages and Mash for dinner?

Then I went dreamy-bye-bye, and thought about ambling barefoot over the paving stones of didsbury, aimlessly walking to work. Then I dreamt of games, and got so annoyed at myself for my addiction I tried to think of ways of forcing myself to stop. At university I used to give my power cables away every time I wanted to work; now I think a little dynamo powering off your body’s movement would do the job. Every time the circuitry detects that the average input rate (over the course of a day) drops below a certain rate, the battery would start discharging, niggling at first but increasingly painful. Which would certainly make you jump up and do some exercise. If you were playing games for too long, sitting still, that would bring the average input rate down, shocking you into motion. Exercise would buy you lots of time playing games, so we could hope for a pavlovian reaction in the long run, where the gamer starts associating exercise with pleasure and games with pain. Yay!

LucasArts!

ME:

…and Nintendo! I don’t how to broach this but, as a gamer, I’m really excited to see what you’re doing with the Wii controller, Digital MM and euphoria, especially for the Indy game!

Peter Hirschmann, Vice-President of LucasArts:

(Laughs) You want a Wii world exclusive?

ME

I’d have to hide it, I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone, it would be terrible, a horrible secret I’d have to keep to myself.

Peter:

The burden of writing for a platform-specific magazine.

Me:

How am I going to keep this to myself?

Expurgated excerpt from an interview I did with the LucasArts head of games for the magazine! I’ll link to the rest when it crops up.

Day in the life

Day in the life

Multiple alarms go off. I’m lying in dirty sheets with an Oblivion hangover and I should be getting up for work. Instead of which I’ve piled all the duvets and my too-many pillows and cushions up (incidentally crushing my plush Gonzo) and thrust my face in, feeling for the crisp coolness of unused linen. Eventually I get up, have a cold shower, and wonder if there’s any fodder in the house I feel like eating. I pull on sandals, as it’ll save on washing socks later and go down, through my flats.

Longfield house is a bipolar place, with the landlord promising all these improvements, none of which are thought through properly. So to stop tramps sleeping on the roof outside my window, he blocked off the fire escape. To improve the look of the concrete entrance ramp, he covered it in sheet metal that is lethal in ice or rain. The postboxes have been replaced three times, because they can’t get the numbers right – and the flaps are so big, anyone wandering in from the street can nick the post. Anyone can wander in from the street because the security system has been deactivated. It’s been deactivated because the intercom doesn’t work and not enough keyfobs have been handed out to the other residents of the building. The building has a caretaker but he doesn’t clean the building itself, merely sweeping up the leaves outside. Inside there’s piled rubbish, holes in the wall and bird crap coating the stair-wells, presumably from when a pigeon got in when they were jerry-building the new flats in which we live. No-one I’ve met, apart from us, likes living there.

I walk through Longfield house quickly.

I walk ten minutes to Ealing Broadway, spend twelve minutes on the overland to Paddington, hop on the underground to Marylebone, walk to the office, and wait for the lift.

Then it’s a long day of typing. Yesterday I made about fifteen phone-calls, sent thirty emails, wrote a two-page preview of a game, played squash with Jamie Sefton at lunchtime (having gashed my index finger with a big knife at the weekend, I can’t hit straight or hard, and lost badly 5-0), interviewed the head of LucasArts game development over a crackly transatlantic line, stopped a copyright-infringing image going on our cover and took some time to browse the internet and catch up on news stories.

Somedays I even talk to people.

I then reversed my lengthy homeward journey, bought a cookie, stopped in and picked up some cheap canvasses for the painting I never get around to doing, bought some absolute cheap crap from Morrissons, went to a bar with my flatmate Jamie and ate some nachos, drank some white wine, went home, played Oblivion for four hours, had some dinner at midnight (ribs and rice), went into my room, cleared the crap off my bed, started my computer up, listened to radio 4, twiddled, brushed my teeth, installed a duplicate-file finder (because I seem to have at least two copies of most of my MP3s) and went to sleep.

Woke up. Repeat.

The Smiths on Charlie’s Bus with Sandie Shaw (April 1984)

Wow. That’s awesomely surreal. A very young group called The Smiths appear with Sandie Shaw on the kid’s show “Charlie’s Bus.” Watch for the magic disappearing-reappearing child behind Sandie’s shoulder.

CANCER, to cure (2)

Externally apply the following; simmer cicuta leaves till they are soft, then mix them with slippery elm bark, to form a poultice; apply morn and night. It is valuable.-Or apply the irritating plaster, for a continual discharge must be kept up, as long as the patient is able to bear it. The douch bath has been recommended, and doubtless it has had a good effect in many cases. The following applications are useful;-
Cayenne and Lobelia Seed, equal quantities, powdered; Meadowfern and Balm of Gilead buds, of each 3oz. (these two steeped in spirits for five or six days, and made into ointment, with lard sufficient.) Unite the whole as a paste, and apply to the cancer, covering with a cloth. When the plaster is taken off wash with soapsuds.-Or burn a quantity of red oak bark to ashes, and make into lye. Boil the lye till it becomes as thick as honey. Such preparations, by their stimulating and relaxing properties, excite a preternatural discharge, or cause a sloughing of the ulcer, and thus remove or lessen it. Use one of these ointments principally, the Black Salve occasionally, and after much discharge, dress with an emollient ointment. This treatment has effect numerous cures. (See Black Salve.)

…for all you want to know.

CANCER, to cure (1)

To CURE, remove debility, and improve the general health. Regulate the bowels, and give an emetic. Give a vapour bath made of bitter herbs, as camomile, hops, catnep, tansy, &c. and boiling water and vinegar. Occasionally rub the whole surface of the body with the following liniment; — Cayenne, a tea-spoonful; salt, two tablespoonfuls; pour upon them half a pint of boiling water; infuse an hour longer, stirring occasionally. Steaming with the bitter herbs, combined as above, allays the pain, swelling and inflammation. The following pills will be of much use; Bloodroot, 1½ drachm; extract of dandelion, 3 drachms; lobelia seed, 1 drachm; cayenne, 1 drachm; senna, in powder, 1 drachm; add 3 drops of oil of mint and form into pills. These pills will be found very efficacious in the cure of jaundice, and liver complaints.

…for all you want to know.