Become an Organ Donor

Right now more than 8,000 people in the UK are in desperate need of an organ transplant. Around 400 of them will die this year and many more will lose their lives before they are registered for a transplant.

But you can help.

Think about whether you want to give the gift of life and help someone live after your death. And if you do, you can join the NHS Organ Donor Register online or by phoning 0845 60 60 400.

One Cup Cafetiere

smart_cafe_mug_cafetiereAs an IT geek it’s my duty, I feel, to drink coffee and to do so from anything other than your standard porcelain mug.

So, I use a one-cup Cafetiere. It’s plastic so looks and feels naff but I’ve convinced at least 2 people at work to buy them, and many others are envious of the coffee aromas drifting from my desk. It quite literally is a proper cafetiere – you fill it with “proper” ground coffee, leave hot water swishing about inside it for 10 minutes and then press the plunger.

The only problem I’ve found, long term, is the rubber seal around the outside of the “plunger” wearing after a while – coffee grounds then start to seep through into the coffee. At this point it’s time to buy another!

And a bargain at only £5, from Cookware Online, amongst other places. You know you want one.


It’s plastic and doesn’t look particularly pretty, but it makes a damn decent cup of coffee for not much money!

And the winner was…

Ok, I was wrong. The wedding wasn’t a struggle. But then I said I wasn’t going to drink, and I did. Conversation flowed, laughs were had and it all turned out well in the end.

And any best mans speech that can start, “I’ll admit to being a bit nervous. This isn’t the first time today I’ve got up from a warm seat with some paper in my hand”, deserves a salute. Rob, I salute you.

And the groom turned up in a bright red Ferrari.

Wedding Names

“So what are you doing with your weekend”, I hear you cry? Aside from punctuating things badly (see my previous post, and I notice the witch-queen Lynne Truss has launched a website asking for people to send examples of bad grammar), I’m off to a wedding tomorrow.

I seem to have got to a point in life where I either don’t want to drink at all or need to drink in excess. Anything less just leaves me with a headache. And as I don’t know many people at the wedding, and are getting a lift from my parents-in-law-to-be, then I’m going the non-drinking route. So that means I won’t be dancing either (I have to be drunk to dance). At least I get a free meal out of it and ideas for my own wedding ;o)

Not really V&J (if you’re reading this) – but, let’s be honest, a room full of people you don’t know and you’re stone-cold sober isn’t the most fun ways to spend an evening. Maybe they’ll surprise me.

Anyway, their wedding has reminded me of something. When I created a website for my own wedding, I referred to it as “David and Jens” wedding. I knew someone would comment on the order of the names and I wasn’t wrong. Jen doesn’t have an issue with it – to me I did it because it’s alphabetical and seems to “flow” better that way round. I don’t know if there’s a standard way of ordering names, but it usually seems to be alphabetical.

Of course, all my arguing leads to nothing because they simply refer to the aforementioned wedding of “Vikki and Jon”. You can’t win.

Anyway, I’ve booked work off on Monday because I desperately need some sleep and general rest (the only holiday I’ve had in months was a week with the family, with 9 children. And that’s not a rest in anyones book). Now, what to do…. I’ll certainly Blog and let you know how the wedding goes. Fingers crossed!

Useful Grammar Checks

The following check list should help you with your grammar. It’s certainly made my grammar what it is today.

  1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
  4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  5. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat)
  6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  7. Be more or less specific.
  8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  10. No sentence fragments.
  11. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
  12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  14. One should NEVER generalize.
  15. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  16. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  18. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  19. The passive voice is to be ignored.
  20. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  21. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
  22. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  23. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.
  24. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  25. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
  26. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  27. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  28. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  29. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  30. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  31. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Broken Stik

It was great to hear that my good friend, Stikwaiver, is getting better.

Fellow theatre performer, musical director and dance-floor diva, John has been suffering badly from headaches. Scans showed he’d had a number of “mini strokes” (unbeknown to himself).

Lots of exercise and healthy eating later and… he’s still got the headaches and hasn’t lost any weight. Hmmm. But apparently he’s on the road to wellville.

You can read more on this on his own blog.

Pass it on…

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the chain email. Especially if it’s friends, who really should know better, sending them to me.

So, the next time you receive one, drop them a subtle hint by sending them this in kind return…

Hello, my name is Basmati Kasaar. I am suffering from rare and deadly diseases, poor scores on final exams, extreme virginity, fear of being kidnapped and executed by anal electrocution, and guilt for not forwarding out 50 billion chain letters sent to me by people who actually believe that if you send them on, then that poor 6 year old girl in Arkansas with a breast on her forehead will be able to raise enough money to have it removed before her parents sell her off to the travelling freak show. Do you honestly believe that Bill Gates is going to give you and everyone you send his email to $1000?

How stupid are you?

Ooooh, looky here! If I scroll down this page and make a wish, I’ll get laid by every Playboy Bunny in the magazine! What a load of bollocks.

So basically, this message is a big NO WAY to all the people out there who have nothing better to do than to send me stupid chain mail forwards. Maybe the evil chain letter leprechauns will come into my house and sodomize me in my sleep for not continuing the chain which was started by Caesar in 5 A.D. and was brought to this country by midget pilgrims on the Mayflower and if it makes it to the year 2010, it’ll be in the Guinness Book of Records for longest continuous streak of blatant stupidity.

If you’re going to forward something, at least send me something mildly amusing. I’ve seen all the ‘send this to 50 of your closest friends and this poor, wretched excuse for a human being will somehow receive a pound
from some omniscient being forwards about 90 times. I don’t fucking care. Show a little intelligence and think about what you’re actually contributing to by sending out forwards. Chances are it’s your own unpopularity.


Chain Letter Type 1:

(Scroll down)

Make a wish!!!

Keep Scrolling

No, really, go on and make one!!!

Oh please, they’ll never go out with you!!!
Wish something else!!!
Not that, you pervert!!


Wasn’t that fun? 🙂
Hope you made a great wish 🙂

Now, to make you feel guilty, here’s what I’ll do. First of all, if you don’t send this to 5096 people in the next 5 seconds, you will be raped by a mad goat and thrown off a high building into a pile of shit.

It’s true! Because, THIS letter isn’t like those fake ones, THIS one is TRUE!! Really!!! Here’s how it goes:

Send this to 1 person: One person will be annoyed at you for sending them a stupid chain letter.

Send this to 2-5 people: 2-5 people will be rather annoyed at you for sending them a stupid chain letter.

Send this to 5-10 people: 5-10 people will be very annoyed at you for sending them a stupid chain letter, and may form a plot on your life.

Send this to 10-20 people: 10-20 people will be extremely annoyed at you for sending them a stupid chain letter and will napalm your house.


Good Luck!!!

Chain Letter Type 2

Hello, and thank you for reading this letter. There is a starving little boy in Baklaliviatatlaglooshen who has no arms, no legs, no parents, and no goats. This little boy’s life could be saved, because for every time you pass this on, a dollar will be donated to the Little Starving Legless Armless Goat less Boy from Baklaliviatatlaglooshen Fund. Oh, and remember, we have absolutely no way of counting the emails sent and this is all a complete load of crap. So go on, reach out. Send this to 5 people in the next 47 seconds. Oh, and a reminder – if you accidentally send this to 4 or 6 people, you will die instantly.

Thanks again!!

Chain Letter Type 3

Hi there!! This chain letter has been in existence since 1897. This is absolutely incredible because there was no email then and probably not as many sad gits with nothing better to do.

So this is how it works… Pass this on to 15,067 people in the next 7 minutes or something horrible will happen to you like:

*Bizarre Horror Story #1

Miranda Pinsley was walking home from school on Saturday. She had recently received this letter and ignored it. She then tripped in a crack in the pavement, fell down the drain, was gushed down a drainpipe in a flood of shit, and went flying out over a waterfall. Not only did she smell nasty, she died. This Could Happen To You!!!

*Bizarre Horror Story #2
Dexter Bip, a 13-year-old boy, got a chain letter in his mail and ignored it. Later that day, he was hit by a car and so was his boyfriend. They both died and went to hell and were cursed to eat adorable kittens every day for eternity.

This Could Happen To You Too!!! Remember, you could end up just like Pinsley and Bip. Just send this letter to all of your loser friends, and everything will be okay.

Chain Letter Type 4

As if you care, here is a poem that I wrote. Send it to all your friends.


A friend is someone who is always at your side.
A friend is someone who likes you even though you stink of shit, and your breath smells like you’ve been eating cat food.
A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of toenail clippings.
A friend is someone who cleans up for you after you’ve soiled yourself.
A friend is someone who stays with you all night while you cry about your sad, sad life.
A friend is someone who pretends they like you when they really think you should be raped by mad goats, and then thrown to vicious dogs.
A friend is someone who scrubs your toilet, vacuums and then gets the check and leaves and doesn’t speak much English…no, sorry that’s the cleaning lady.
A friend is NOT someone who sends you chain letters because he wants his wish of being rich to come true.

Now pass this on! If you don’t, you’ll never have sex ever again!

The point being? If you get some chain letter that’s threatening to leave you shagless or luckless for the rest of your life, delete it. If it’s funny, send it on. Don’t piss people off by making them feel guilty about a leper in Botswana with no teeth, who’s been tied to a dead elephant for 27 years, whose only saviour is the 5 pence per letter he’ll receive if you forward this mail. Right?

Now forward this to everyone that you know otherwise you’ll find all your pants missing tomorrow morning!

Copy+ : Copy your Sky Hard Drive

Copy+ LogoNow, I don’t have Sky but I have in the past and I understand why it’s so popular. In particular Sky+, which provides recording to a hard drive.

If you’re lucky enough to have the latter and regularly fill up the hard drive that’s in it, apart from needing to get a life, you’ll probably also be thinking of upgrading it. Yes, you can do this yourself, although it does invalidate the year long warrantee that Sky provide on their boxes.

Anyway, assuming you do want to do this, and assuming you’re the kind of person who does have stupid numbers of recording on their hard drive (and hence need to upgrade), you’re also unlikely to ever get to the point where you have nothing left on your existing hard drive left to watch. So taking the old one out and plugging in a new, blank, one probably doesn’t appeal.

Step forward Stuart McConnachie – friend and work colleague. He’s written a piece of software, named Copy+, which will copy an existing Sky hard drive to a new one. You just need to be able to plug both into a PC, so the software can “do it’s thang”. Oh, and it’s FREE.

He started a website for it, but web development not being his area of expertise, it wasn’t, erm, very good. So, wanting to build up my own portfolio of websites, I volunteered. Designed and hosted by my good self (but content by Stuart), the site provides all the information you could ask for on the software and how to use it.

So, if you’re in a position of needing to update your Sky HD, then the site is will recommended.

Another Artiss!

Ok, not a David Artiss, but another instance of my surname, thanks to Google Alerts.

A German company has concatenated “Artificial” and “Tissue” to “Artiss”, to form their company name.

The company, a biotechnological enterprise, was founded in 2000 under the name ATT. The name was changed to Artiss in 2001. The name has nothing to do with the founders of the company, who are Dr Haverich and Dr Heublein (Thanks to my girlfriend for performing the German to English translation!).

Not very exciting, but another spotting of my relatively rare surname.

Useful Latin

Impress your friends and relatives, talk to them in Latin. Remember: “quidquid latine dictum sit altum viditur” (anything said in Latin sounds profound).

Imus ad magum Ozi videndum, magum Ozi mirum mirissimum.
We are going to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz.

Fac ut gaudeam.
Make my day.

Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua.
The only good language is a dead language.

Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit.
To boldly go where no man has gone before.

Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis.
You do not know the power of the dark side.

Sit vis nobiscum.
May the force be with you.

Magnus frater spectat te…
Big Brother is watching you….

Monstra mihi pecuniam!
Show me the money!

Habetis bona deum.
Have a nice day.

Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi.
Excuse me. I’ve got to see a man about a dog.

Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Radix lecti
Couch potato

Mellita, domi adsum.
Honey, I’m home.

Te precor dulcissime supplex!
Pretty please with a cherry on top!

Magister Mundi sum!
I am the Master of the Universe!

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
I can’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?
Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?

Prehende uxorem meam, sis!
Take my wife, please!

Vacca foeda
Stupid cow

Fac ut vivas.
Get a life.

Vescere bracis meis.
Eat my shorts

Lege atque lacrima.
Read ’em and weep

Noli nothis permittere te terere.
Don’t let the bastards get you down.

Lagunculae leydianae non accedunt.
Batteries not included.

Speaking of Latin (and I probably won’t even again – this is a one-shot subject) there is (for geeks around the world) a great site, named Lorem Ipsum, which allows you to generate pre-determined sizes of dummy latin texts – this allows you, for example, to fill a webpage with text for testing purposes.

Scroll Up