Sunday, December 30, 2012

No Comment 2012

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2. Search terms that brought people to my blog:

* bald midget
* the furred reich
* real zombie outbreaks recently
* a man can love a million women
* zombie apotolips

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Nice Things About Switzerland #4: Snow

Sunny days are nice. You can eat ice cream and wear sunglasses and look at women's breasts without them knowing. But nobody says 'I hope it suns on Christmas.'

Rain is worse. It stops cricket matches and ruins your hair after you've put loads of product in it. One of my friends called his startup company 'RainThreat' and it failed within months. When he renamed it 'SunGlee Industries' he got millions in capital and grants. If it rains on Christmas it's God trying to make you cry.

What everyone wants at Christmas is snow. Crisp, white, powdery snow hugging the city like a mother cat. Snow is to Christmas what shrugging is to the French. Put another way, snow makes Christmas christmassy the way feral grunting makes sex sexy.

One of the nice things about Switzerland is that it delivers snow in winter. Look at the snow!

Snowcapped peak, like the very Alps
An amorphous blob, next to a snowman

So it's not actually going to snow on Christmas Day, and the snow in the photos was from two weeks ago. But I saved a bit of it and put it in my freezer, and I'll put it in a glass of champagne for Christmas breakfast and then I'll feel really christmassy.


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Friday, December 21, 2012

He Ain't Hesse; He's My Brother

On December 7th, my brother Adam posted a link to a comparison of mobile phones. I started reading the article and was puzzled by the number of run-on sentences, random capitalisations and weirdly-spaced compound nouns. But there was something light and charming about it. It was as though the piece had been written by a kindly, high-functioning alcoholic with one and a half Jack Ds in him. The light dawned - it had been written by Adam.

This was a surprise. Adam read his first book, Pippi Longstocking, at the age of twenty-two, and had never displayed any inclination towards writing as a hobby.

He is attracting more than a hundred hits a day. Which is more than this blog, even though this blog is the number one resource on the web for Latin Jokes, Asterix translations, and Girls Who Look Like Hitler.

Let's try to find out why he's more successful than me:

Output
The pace Adam's writing at is dizzying - 16 posts in 2 weeks. In that time I've uploaded a couple of photos to a draft, thought up exactly zero new comics, and played 30 hours of Skyrim. If you don't check his blog for a day you'll be so far behind you'll never catch up.

Cats
20% of Adam's posts are pictures of him holding cats.There are almost no pictures of cats on my blog. Is it any wonder no-one comes here?

Attitude to Readership
I don't like human beings; Adam does. This shines through in his writing. Assuming my readers are stupid, I carefully draft, craft, and shraft my writing so that people can't possibly misunderstand anything. In contrast, Adam just types whatever comes into his fingers in the belief that his readers will be bright enough to get it.

As a fun game, count how many different tenses are used in this anecdote:
I was in a hurry because I was running late as I was feeding my cat Mr Smith. I rushed out of my front door with a bag of goodies in each hand and got to my front gate and then…DISASTER, I tripped and fell to my knees, then my head was slowly but surely heading towards the pavement and due to my overprotective nature with food, I  kept hold of my shopping bags and failed to use my hands to stop myself.  CRASH, I hit the floor, I feel nothing.
As I get up from the ground I notice a chorus of cackling coming from across the road. (you should note, at the time I lived right opposite a primary school).  The children were laughing at me.
Charm
People who have never met me describe my blog personality as 'cold', 'assholey', or 'dickish'. Fortunately, I'm all those things in real life so I don't find it offensive. Adam, though, is a nice guy and people like him. I mean, how can you not like the writer of this story?


It was winter time and foggy, even if I had glasses on I’m not sure it would have changed anything. I was walking home from work because I like to not pollute the world. I heard a noise behind me, I turned to see what it was. In the distance I saw a group of thugs running towards me and I did what any normal white boy would do, I ran away.
Alas, I was fat and weak back then so my running didn’t last very long. I turned to face my assailants with ready to do some kung-fu and beat them back, only find a mixed sex jogging group passing me with slightly confused looks on their faces.

Pleasantly Confusing
With my blog, people know what to expect - me making fun of my dwindling group of friends, me killing my friends in comics, and insincere 'nice' or 'socially useful' articles. With Adam's you never know what you're going to get - sometimes you still don't know even after you've read it.

I went back to the article he'd written about phones and saw there was one comment on it. The comment was from Adam and it said 'your email address looks like gibberish.' I instantly apprehended what had happened: one of the internet's many spambots had posted a comment and Adam had replied. Except he'd then deleted the first comment and chosen not to delete his reply. 

Somehow this sums up his blog to date. I told a couple of people to check it out and their reactions were the same - "I don't understand it, but I like it."


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My Christmas wish is that everyone who reads this post visits my brother's blog.
Read it here: http://www.grumblereview.com/

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Nice Things About Switzerland #3: The Children


Children are like zombies. They can barely walk, have a limited vocabulary, and are messy eaters. No, wait. Children are like drum solos - at first they are awesome, but after two minutes you're totally sick of them.

But I have to admit that the kids in Switzerland are pretty adorable.

First, when they are out of kindergarten they have to wear triangular fluorescent bibs.


A man. A pram. A tram. Panama.

Second, the kindergarten workers sometimes transport whole batches of kids in these massive kinderwagons:


It is literally impossible to see half a dozen kids in one of those and not smile. I like saying the word kinderwagon. Top tip - it's more fun if you stress the first syllable and pronounce the 'w' as 'v'.

Another gratifying sight is kids riding ruinously expensive wooden pedal-less bikes (sometimes called "ride-on bikes"). Thusly:


Child's smile: priceless   Wooden bike: 500 pounds or something
Growing up, I never had a toy that cost as much as a second hand car. That's why I cry myself to sleep every night, mumbling 'Rosebud', 'Rosebud'. But I do like the bikes - I imagine them being handcrafted by a jolly Santa lookalike.

Finally, I'd like to do an online fist-bump to Swiss parents in general. I can't recall seeing a parent screaming at their kid in a supermarket. I've never thought the word 'feral' when looking at a group of kids, and in restaurants they just sit and eat food and don't run around screaming.

I don't exactly know how they do it, but high five, guys. High five.


More Nice Things About Switzerland here
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