30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

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Camelot 3000

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Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

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All Star Superman 

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Preacher: Gone To Texas

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The Crow

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Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

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Marvel 1602

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Saga: Volume 1

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 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man

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Ronin 

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Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

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The Infinity Gauntlet 

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Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

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Promethea Book 1 

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

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Multiversity 

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Son Of Superman 

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Hellblazer: Original Sins 

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The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

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Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  

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JSA The Liberty Files 

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Alice In Sunderland 

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Daredevil Yellow

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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

Congratulations Mr Trump (2)

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

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Gentleman’s Agreement

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From Here to Eternity

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Gone With The Wind

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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West Side Story

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Lawrence of Arabia

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

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Funny Girl

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Fiddler On The Roof

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All The Presidents Men

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Milk

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Kramer Vs Kramer

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Terms of Endearment 

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The Cider House Rules

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An Education

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Moonrise Kingdom

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Saving Private Ryan

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Going In Style 

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Wall Street

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King Ralph

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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The Monuments Men

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Good Will Hunting

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Good Morning Vietnam 

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This Is Spinal Tap

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

The Great Emu War

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The Great Emu War was a military operation taking place in 1932 in Western Australia, dozens of local farming communities, already suffering the hardships of worldwide economic depression, had come under attack by ravenous hoards of flightless invaders, who were hell bent on property damage, destruction and mayhem. These proud communities made up of decorated military veterans banded together and entreated their government for help, this is that story.

Extract from the diary of Major GPW Meredith- Late Royal Australian Artillery 

” Word came down from above, all the way from the Minister, that useless toad Pearce, that me and a detachment are being sent to the arse end of nowhere, a place called Campion, because a couple of the local yocal’s are having problems with a the wildlife becoming a bit to wild. It’ll probably be nothing, we go in make some noise scare away a couple of birds, then bang, back home in time for tea.”

After the local community appealed to the Minister of Defence Sir George Pearce, the Seventh Heavy Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery was dispatched to Campion, under the command of Major GPW Meredith, the battery armed with two Lewis Guns was sent to relieve the locals of their avian aggressors.

Extract from the diary of Major GPW Meredith- Late Royal Australian Artillery 

Day one in this hell hole, we spotted about fifty or so of the targets near to where we had set up the guns, they were a little bit out of range so some of the locals thought they would  be “helpful” and try to herd the beasts towards us, it’s safe to say the locals don’t even have the brains of an emu, what does it say when a whole town cant even herd a group of giant birds into a trap? we got a couple, but nowhere near enough, we spotted about a dozen or so later that day and managed to pick them off, but it was not a good day.” 

After failing to make a significant dent in the emu hoards insurmountable numbers during his first few days of operations Major Meredith and his men moved south towards the local dam where over 1000 emus had set up base.

Extract from the diary of Major GPW Meredith- Late Royal Australian Artillery 

“we set up position near the local watering hole. a dam not far from Campion, a load of those damn brutes were coming toward our position, forward estimates and scouting parties put the number up there at over a thousand, and they were coming right for us, we didn’t make the same mistakes as day one, we waited until their beady little eyes were in sight, then, BANG, we let of rounds left right and centre picking off targets all over the place, that is util the blasted gun jammed after managing to fire off about 20 rounds, it was enough to make those blessed nuisances scarper, and left me and the lads with a bit of egg on our face, especially as that chap from the Argus keeps poking his nose about”

After little success Major Meredith moved further south picking off stray targets along the way, but was still frustrated by the terrain and the speed of their quarry.

Extract from the diary of Major GPW Meredith- Late Royal Australian Artillery 

Day six of the operation, we’ve got through about a quarter of the ammunition we were supplied with, and the whole thing has been one damn frustrating mess since the beginning, first we can’t find them, then the gun jams, then they run, I’ve even had the lads try strapping the guns onto a jeep, but the land is so rocky, even if they could’ve got off a shot, they’d probably would have hit themselves, it’s no wonder the muckity mucks back in parliament have decided to call off the show, the lads put the number of dead birds around 250, I put in the official report to HQ about 500, but its probably closer to 50. That bloke from the Argus wanted a quote, so I said to him ‘If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world… They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop.’ He said they probably wouldn’t print it though. “

On 8 November, representatives in the Australian House of Representatives discussed the operation. Following the negative coverage of the events in the local media, that included claims that “only a few” emus had died, Minister of Defence Sir George Pearce withdrew the military personnel on 8th  November.

After the withdrawal of the military, the emu attacks on crops continued. Farmers again asked for support, citing the hot weather and drought that made emus invade farms in their thousands. Acting on the requests of locals on the 12th November the Minister of Defence agreed to resume military efforts in Western Australia. He defended the decision in the senate, explaining why the soldiers were necessary to combat the serious agricultural threat of the large emu population. Major Meredith was once again placed in the field due to an apparent lack of experienced machine gunners in the state.

Extract from the diary of Major GPW Meredith- Late Royal Australian Artillery 

“I can’t believe that rat Pearce is sending us back in to this mess, I think this is one of those times were tactics and subtlety are going to have to go out the window. Looking at todays figures we picked off about 40 or 50 of the blighters, but were going to have to ramp it up a bit if we wan’t to be home in time for Christmas” 

Over the following three weeks Major Meredith’s men killed almost 1000 emus directly, with another 2500 or so birds dying of their wounds after the fact.  Major Meredith was recalled on 10 December, and in his report he claimed 986 kills with 9,860 rounds, at a rate of exactly 10 rounds per confirmed kill. He also reported that his unit suffered no noteworthy casualties.

Extract from the diary of Major GPW Meredith- Late Royal Australian Artillery 

” So they’re finally sending us home from this god forsaken place, to my dying day I will be cursed with what I’ve seen and cursed with what I’ve done” 

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*Authors Note, Whilst Major GPW Meredith was the operational leader of the Emu War, the diary excerpts used in this post are entirely fictional and were written, by yours truly, to make a mildly amusing, but otherwise dry historical anecdote somewhat more amusing. 

 

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Guy (On Being In Love)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being In Love 

Have you ever seen someone and known that they would be a terrible distraction to your life. That was how I would describe it, that feeling of knowing that this person is going to really change your life. That knowledge that this is going to be massively inconvenient.

That’s how it all begins then you slip into it, the early days are all wine and dinner and flowers and dancing, but then comes the big pants and netflix, the cups of tea, the farting and the lack of make up, if you can get through that, that is true love. The enduring real world version of the thing.

Foreigner wanted to know what love is, well its two people who have decided to just give up and settle with each other because they find the other person somewhat less detestable than the rest of humanity, that my friends is love.

This is the second in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.

 

The Lazy Ramblings of A Lazy Guy (On Being Idle)

 

The Man Down My Local (1).pngI was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being Idle

Laziness is both a blessing and a curse, there is nothing more satisfying than spending a day lazing about on the sofa, especially when you know that there are plenty of more important things that you could be doing, and therein lies the curse. Having to put aside that bliss, can prove difficult and indeed a real hardship and can even lead to outright resentment. Or at least this is how I feel. I’ve now reached the point where I actually hate to have to do things. When people interrupt my doing nothing I really do get a little bit angry about the whole thing.

Since the advent of the internet the whole staying in thing really has taken off, with the world of online streaming services and takeaway foods that you don’t even have to speak to people to get, the world of insular laziness has actually become more and more of a easy thing to achieve.

Laziness and indeed idleness itself is a state of mind, its where you sacrifice any sort of social life just to achieve the pleasure that comes from doing nothing. It’s hard to get into the head space required to want to do nothing but watch Game of Thrones in your pants while eating cereal straight from the box.

There are some people who couldn’t be lazy if their lives depended on it. They just lack that lack of drive. They have too much motivation, too much determination to just get things done. The world would stop without those people, without them we wouldn’t have anything. But thanks to those people the rest of us, those lazy fellows can enjoy the things those great enablers have given us. Thanks to them we can vegetate until we fuse to with our sofas, until bed sores set in and until we have to wash ourselves with rags on sticks.

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The world takes a dim view of laziness, but to those who say this is say to you…meh I’ll tell you later.

 

This is the first in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man. 

The Magic Kingdom Has Fallen (Why The Disney Castle Doesn’t Work)

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Over the last few days I’ve been watching numerous Disney films with Marianna and her mother. As I’m sure most of you know, that at the beginning of pretty much every Disney film you see the image of Cinderella Castle, the Disney Logo, and it just struck me, that as a castle, it really doesn’t work.

Castles were built for a number of purposes, such as displays of wealth or as an architectural legacy, and for these purposes the Disney castle does hit the mark. Architecturally it borrows heavily from inspirations such as  Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria and The Alcázar of Segovia which both exhibit a flamboyant gothic style that the Disney Castle is known for, but both have what the Disney castle lacks. Natural protection.

The main purpose of castles is protection and this is one thing that the Disney castle is sorely lacking. Whilst protected by a moat and 10 inch thick reinforced wall that encircles the castle, the approach is flat and over 200 miles from Florida’s famed swamp land, the everglades. The moat is crossed by a concrete bridge rather than a drawbridge so does not lend to protection, however it was designed to withstand the tumultuous Florida hurricane season. Its construction and placement lend little in the way of protection from advancing armies.

In its favour the round smooth design of the towers (27 in total) would lead some protection from cannonballs, more likely to glance off a rounded wall than a square, this became the architectural norm following the advent of the cannon for just such an eventuality. As well as this rounded towers are also more resistant to undermining, due to the way in which they are constructed.

Based on the design and relative accessibility however the Disney Castle could probably be taken over by a dozen men with climbing spikes, or a dozen kids with day passes, either way.

Poppy Appeal Launch

Today was the launch of the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. It was my privilege to attend the launch with my daughter, who now has her second poppy. It was good to hear from our local Member of Parliament and of course the Deputy Mayor of Torfaen. It was also nice to have highlighted the vital work of the British Legion.

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The British Legion do vital work to help all members of the British Armed Forces (both the regular Army and the Territorial Army, Navy, RAF and Royal Marines) as well as their families also running the poppy appeal and remembering the fallen.

I’ve always thought that the work of the British Legion was important, and it was a pleasure to help kick off this campaign.