A Vote is like loose change; Only Appreciated by those without any.

Yesterday, I loaded up a backpack with emergency rations, bottles of water, a First-Aid kit, and PLENTY of spare ammunition. I grabbed the Shotgun, Katana, and a selection of throwing knives, made sure my will was up to date, and set forth.

No. I was not off to War, Or preventing the Zombie Apocalypse, I was off to do my civic duty and vote!

 

You are probably thinking “WTF? He’s just going to vote, why would he…. just Why??” So let me explain my voting experience.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin….

I live on the outskirts of one of the largest Community/Villages in Wales, and If I leave my house, and turn left, its a 1 minute drive through civilisation to the nearest polling station. Only I am not allowed to vote there, Oh no, I must use a different one. I have to turn right and head away from civilisation, until I come to a T-Junction where I can turn right and head to the nearest Town, go back the way I came to civilisation, or turn left and head for the hills.

You guessed it. I turned left and headed upwards along a two lane road, that twisted and turned along between farmers fields, meandering upwards until it turned into a road just wider than a single lane. After a while this one and a half lane road, went down to a single lane road as I left the farmland behind and move deeper into the wilderness of the mountains.

Eventually I came to a patch of road where the bank on one side has been worn away and you can force your car into that space leaving enough room for traffic to get past you, as long as that traffic is a small car willing to rub along the hedge. Next to this “Parking Spot” is an old abandoned church hall with a banner outside proclaiming “Polling Station”.

I forced my car into the space and approached the building, trying to avoid the kid sitting outside playing the Banjo. and entered the hall.

You enter into a small entrance hall the size of a cloakroom, and normally there’s a door into the hall. Today the doors were missing and had been replaced with swinging bits of plywood, I tried not to look for any blood stains, and kept my mind off thoughts of hordes of zombies (or Locals) breaking through the original doors after survivors as I swung the ply-board open and entered the hall.

The hall was empty apart from a rickety table with cardboard privacy screens, and a small table facing the door manned by two people who looked to have the combined age of 764. I walked slowly up to the two people, my right hand absently hovering mere inches away from the concealed blade I’d draw at the first sudden movement, or if the Banjo music stopped. I handed over my Voting slip and waited while they tried to find me on the large list of voters. I say large list since the names covered two sides of an A4 sheet. After ten minutes one of them found me, and handing over the voting forms, while the other made a note in his book.

Now I am not saying anything about the average intelligence of the people who vote at this station, but elder of the two explained that one one of the three votes you had the option of a first choice, and a second choice. You did not have to pick a second choice, but if you wanted a second choice you HAD to pick a first choice first.

One of the three votes I had to err vote on was who I wanted in power in the Welsh Assembly. This vote amused me as the first option of parties was the “Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party” Now I am not sure on their polices, But I assume a party that does not want our own assembly would do a very good job in that assembly?

OK, for those of you Readers who live in countries where you left the 18th century and are now living happily in the 21st I should explain how our voting works. You get given a piece of paper, you walk over to a table where a pencil is taped to a piece of string to prevent theft. You put an X in the appropriate box, then return your paper to where you received it, and basically drop it through a letterbox into a glorified bucket. Yes, in this age of computers, touch-screen terminals, and easy technology we in the UK use pencils, those tamper proof voting system that is super secure unless the person wanting to rig the ballot has the cutting edge tools of an eraser and another pencil. Am I the only one who thinks this is a slow, silly, insecure voting system? Also Humans counting thousands of votes? Its way to easy for mistakes to happen. We’re living in the future people, lets try and act like we are. Now where’s my flying car I was promised?

What I am curious about, is how many people actually believe the urban legend that our votes are anonymous, and that big brother does not know what or who we vote for? When I was too young to vote I’d often hear people talking about how voting is anonymous and all that stuff. I found this odd as the magazines and books I read had other facts in that were contra to popular belief. I remember when I was sixteen I read in a biker magazine how if you voted for one of the extreme parties that MI5 would start a file on you. I remember conversations with people when they assured me voting is private and confidential. OK, so if its confidential why when I’m given my voting paper the number written in the top corner of the sheet is marked in a book next to my voting number? So after counting the votes you could pick up the pile of votes for say “The Monster Raving Loony Party” or “The Green Party” or “The BNP” and look up the names of all the people who voted for them. In what way is this anonymous? or is this anonymous in the same way a pencil mark on a bit of paper is secure?

I collected my forms which are basically a folded piece of paper with some squares on it, and took it over to the table where a pencil was taped to a piece of string to prevent theft. I placed my X in the appropriate box, and returned to the “locals”? to drop my vote through a letterbox into a glorified bucket. Yes, in this age of computers, touch-screen terminals, and easy technology we in the UK use pencils, a tamper proof voting system that is super secure unless the person wanting to rig the ballot has the cutting edge tools of an eraser and another pencil. Am I the only one who thinks this is a slow, silly, insecure voting system? Also Humans counting thousands of votes? Its way to easy for mistakes to happen. We’re living in the future people, lets try and act like we are.

I quickly left the hall, backing away from the people behind the table since I was unwilling to turn my back on them. They had not spoken at all during my time in the hall apart from when one read out my name from the list. I exited, quickly checking my car had no extra passengers hiding in it before jumping in and locking the doors. I then shot off down the other side of the mountain to head back to civilisation, and did not relax, or put away the weapons until I hit an area with street lighting.

And that dear Constant Reader, is how I have to vote. If I did not have a large collection of deadly weapons, and no fear of using them I would probably never vote.

Let the *Beltane Fires Burn Bright (*AKA May Day, Walpurgisnacht, and Roodmas)

Greetings and Salutations

We here at the Ninja Temple would like to take a minute out of our day to wish you all a Happy Beltane.

Some of you would have started your celebrations last night, others will be starting them today, either way we wish you a great celebration, much drinking, much eating, much “Other activities inspired by the gods & goddesses” May your fires burn bright all night.

Art Project Pt1

Art Project Pt1

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Artisan 2016

When picking the challenges for 2016, @MaguirePete mentioned that when he was in sixth form he always liked the long art projects, where as you passed the Art block you would see the work slowly take form over time. And so we decided to be artistic in 2016 and do some form or Art project that would slowly take the year to do. This seems like a good idea, so I will be working on a piece of art over the year and posting updates as it goes along.

How hard can it be?


Since the idea of this Project it to slowly work on it over the whole year, and it is supposed to be a challenge, I wanted something that would be complicated, that could be done in small bits then placed together into one final finished item.

I have always liked the old alchemical images you see in old books, and thought what a great idea that would be for a year long art project idea.

Examples


I also thought this would mean I could post update pictures of the work in progress, but no one would know what the overall image would be until I had finished and merged all the bits.

So Surprise Art!

I must admit, I did toy with the idea of not telling myself what the finished image would look like, and to just work individually on small bits, then see what I got at the end when I put them all together. Realistically that could lead to a right mess, So instead I worked out a rough sketch idea of what I hoped to come up with.

Because I really liked the idea of not knowing what I was doing until the end, and since I am the type of person who does jigsaws without looking at the picture I came up with a compromise with myself.

I have a rough sketch of what I want to create. I have taken that sketch and folded it up and sealed it inside an envelope. Which I will not open until the project is over.

It should be interesting to see how well I remember my original design, and whether or not my finished piece even resembles my goal.

This should be Interesting!

poetweet – 2

There is a website which will go through your old tweets and turn them into poetry (different types of poems) So for a laugh I pointed it at my Twitter stream, and this is the masterpiece it gave me..

Sonnet

Offer

Merry Christmas all.
Out I had more than I thought.
Walked past a snowman in the hall.
Brothers (hobgoblin on draught)

Not good
Pic’s from the top of the mountain
Welcome to adulthood!!!
You can say that again!!!

For Educational and Cultral Reasons
There tonight. So the bar was open.
Based off older organisations”

Thanks. I will try my best
Then discussion & blogs later.
I’m a grown up. Honest!

 

Rondel

Boring things

It would be worth researching.
To hear. I shall recall the bots
Yet. Only just got out of meeting
St. Andrew’s Day you mad Scot’s

And the other a late 80s reprint.
& Cookies do go well together
Good point.
Should notice when torturing her.

Nice. I linked to gord earlier
Be 1 day out all week.. Muhahahaha
Nice. The more the merrier
Mine,,,, MINE…… Muhahahahaha
On “Newbie” setting. It’s easier

 

Indriso

Couldnt resist

I shall have to look into that.
We have hope?
There’s a hat?

Closed ;-( Now we have taken over
The could be a Nigerian scammer.
I have no image on back cover.

Pic’s from the top of the mountain

Coffee, and shortbread biscuits

 

Get your own poetweet here

Happy Valentine’s Day

From all of us here at the Ninja Temple.

This Post is sent anonymous, It’s writer under cover,
It’s sent with loving thoughts, From your secret Lover.
It’s sent to say I love you, It’s sent to say I care.
It’s sent to say I miss you, and wish that I was there.

This post I want to give you, On this special day,
I want to say I love you, in a very special way.
I want to kiss you deeply, I want to hug you tight,
I want to have you in my arms to cling to through the night.

And even if you are alone on this day, it does not mean you are unloved, or uncared for.

So this goes out to everyone, Single or Taken.

You are Awesome!

X-Files

X-Files

14 years after the show ended,  and 7 years after the film They have made a 10th season of the show.

Now pay attention Hollywood!

Not a reboot,

Not a remake!

But a continuation, building off what has already been done.

Because of this new season, I have been re-watching the original season (way back from 1993) and I have noticed two interesting things.

1:

The technology is so primitive, The “advanced” technology the government has in the show, seems to be just a few steps up from chisels & slates. Yet I am sure when I last watched it, way back in 93 I was impressed with the technology. And lets just gloss right over the outfits & hairstyles of the time.

2:

Each episode consists of Mulder & Scully investigating an X-File. Mulder believes from the beginning, while Scully is the sceptic. And together they solve the mystery. BUT! once or twice an episode, Scully will go to make a phone call, go home, go to a lab to run tests, basically leave the area. As soon as she is gone, Mulder will witness something “supernatural” like a UFO, A lizard man, Alien Abductions, some weirdness.  Then when the “close encounter” is over and everything’s back to normal, Scully will come running up looking for Mulder.

Now I ask you. Where have we seen this behaviour before?

Clark Kent running off to phone for help, and as soon as he is out of sight Superman arrives to save the day. Then the day being saved, Superman flies off and Clark returns from “getting help”.

How about Peter Parker, running away, running for help, being trapped and Spider-Man turning up to do his thing. Then after Spidey leaves, Peter is found/returns.

We know..

Clark Kent = Superman

Peter Parker = Spider-Man

So following Sci-Fi Logic

Dana Scully = All supernatural events! or a shape-shifter. (Martian-Manhunter?)

 

Basically. I suspect it is all her! that is the way the evidence points!!!!

MEME: The Year That Was 2015

Its that time of year again, where I look at the Year that was, and do the customary Year that was Meme.

MEME: The Year That Was 2015

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

OK, New things :-

  1. Wrote a Paper (The Two Pillars)
  2. Got on the Ladder in Rose Croix (Captain of the Guard)
  3. Got Installed as 2nd Principle in Chapter.
  4. Gave the Charge after Initiation.
  5. Visited a Provincial S.R.I.A. Meeting
  6. Gave a Full Lecture in Royal Arch (Symbolic)
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes. Well I gave up on resolutions many years back as I never stuck to them, whereas my competitive nature makes me stick to challenges. So for the last few years I have had a yearly challenge. This year it was of a threefold nature,

  1. Do the 100 Days Challenge.
  2. Write a paper
  3. Write a joint bi-weekly story.

The first two I did and stuck too, but the third failed due to external problems. But as my friend MeatLoaf says “two out of three ain’t bad!”  Next year I am again doing a threefold challenge, very similar to this years. 100 days, Write 4 papers, Do a unique piece of artwork.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
I was going to answer Yes, PlanetPete to this question. Then I realised he only gave birth by proxie. So instead I shall adjust my answer slightly to be, Yes, Mrs PlanetPete AKA H, Gave birth to the MicroMagoo Callum, who I get the honour of being his Godfather, and I plan to take my role seriously and have already begun practicing beheading horses..
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Uncle Tommy, My Old DC from my mother Lodge, My old Chaplin from my mother Lodge.
5. What countries did you visit?
The usual suspects of England/Wales. I did go through Bala which should really be classed as it’s own country, if not it’s own planet! I also visited the Magical Dale of Roch for the first time.
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?  
More Productivity, More Published Works, Less things on the todo list. Lolipop on my tablet (stupid americans getting update already)
7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  1. 2nd March – The day I Emailed out my 1st Paper for Peer Review.
  2. 14th November – The day the Maguires asked me to be a God Father.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Writing an academic paper for the first time ever, and nobody laughing when it was emailed out and posted online for discussion.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not actually getting anything published this year, Not finding a New House. Not getting the Lollipop update on my Tablet. (stupid americans getting update already)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not that I can recall!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
New Car? PS4?
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
  • My Niece for getting accepted at 5 of the 5 Universities she applied to.
  • Amanda for going back to Uni to get her BSA/MBA/WTF
  • MaguirePete & Myself for doing the Academic Papers.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? 
The same group of people from last year, who are still up to the same sneaky underhand tricks that they were last year, and affecting more people.
14. Where did most of your money go?
New Car, Diesel for said New Car. PS4, Games for said PS4.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
In two simple words STAR WARS starwars We are finally getting a new Star Wars film that has nothing to do with Lucas so hopefully it will not be as bad as the Prequels, or as annoying as the Remastered versions.
16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Little Mix – Black Magic

For some reason this song got played 300% more often than any other song during my morning commutes when I listen to the radio. Also I lost count the number of times I saw the video on someone’s TV. (Is it just me or is the Video just the film “The Craft” condensed into 3:45 minutes?)

 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
  • a) happier or sadder? Happier
  • b) thinner or fatter? Fatter (slightly) but 2016 will be a time of change
  • c) richer or poorer? Poorer due to spending Money on things like Cars & PS4’s
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Falling in Love, Writing, Following my Dreams, Conquering the World, Finding a cure for the common cold and blackmailing people for the cure, You know, the simple pleasures in life.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? .
Wasting time, and suffering from lack of enthusiasm.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I will wake up late, grab some breakfast & a coffee, then go over to my Parents house with the rest of the family to open presents and do that festive cheer stuff. Then I am off to my Sisters for Christmas Dinner. (Which I will be fed up of by then as I think it will be my 8th or 8th of the month). Luckily her other half is cooking, if she was cooking there is no way I would go (Sorry Sis but you once cooked boil in the bag fish so bad even the dog would not eat it). Then home.. Beer, Doctor Who Special, and laze in front of the TV. I do need to decide what film series to rewatch over xmas, as per tradition. Something like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, etc?  

21. What was your favourite month of 2015? 
I do not think any one month stands out more than any other. So This year I do not have a favourite month.
22. Did you fall in love in 2015? 
Alas No. I am high functioning Sociopath.
23. How many one-night stands?
I do not believe in one-night stands. How can you tell if you realy like something unless you try it at least a couple of times?
24. What was your favourite TV programme?
How do I pick just one? Killjoys, Dark Matter, Lost Girl, Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Scorpion, Jessica Jones, Castle, Person of Interest, Librarians, Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine Nine. the list is endless…….
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 
You know what? NO! I do not believe I hate anyone this year that I did not hate previously. Maybe I am growing as a person, becoming more enlightened? Or is everyone already on THE LIST
26. What was the best book you read?

Picking a favorite book, is even harder than picking a favorite TV Series, or Film. So here is a list of some of the Top books I read this year (In no particular order)  :-

  • You’re Never Weird on The Internet (Felicia Day)
  • Psych Series
  • Warheart (Terry Goodkind)
  • Frabato The Magician (Franz Bardon)
  • Invisible Collage (Robert Lomas)
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Thanks to a random Photo IM from Amanda which showed a CD won at a charity night, I discovered a great now band.

Steel Panther is an American glam metal band from Los Angeles, California, mostly known for their profane and humorous lyrics as well as their exaggerated on-stage personae that parody the stereotypical “glam metal” lifestyle in the 1980s.

So my new (great) musical discovery of the year is….. Steel Panther.

28. What did you want and get?

A New Car, A Next Gen Game system (PS4), A new Star Wars film 😉

29. What did you want and not get? 
Enthusiasm, Love, Slaves A PA/Intern, A new House (Not easy finding one I like, I may be fussy?)
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
  • Minions
  • Star Wars – The Force Awakens
  • AntMan
  • Avengers Age of Ultron
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
 I spent the day as I would any other Sunday. After a time birthdays become meaningless. I believe its as soon as you no longer get toys as gifts So I spent the day playing Video games and drinking beer.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 
The Zombie Apocalypse. Seriously, How cool would that have been!
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Mostly Cargo Pants (I like the extra pockets) Jumpers, and in work Coats…. Oh and suits, because suits are awesome…… True story
34. What kept you sane? 
Sane? Sane? “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means” I think, Good Friends, Good Books, and the fact I was never very sane to start off with, so there is not that much to keep hold of.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 
The character Kenzi from the TV Series “Lost Girl” I worked my way through all five seasons in December, and have overdosed on her a bit.  I just love her attitude, style, and her love of dressing up with different wigs to have many different appearance’s. And her eyes…. 
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
It’s not really a “political issue” but it is politics so it counts! We had a General Election this year. and the Conservatives won. Almost instantly all the Labour supporters started screaming that no one in the UK wanted the Conservatives in power, and as the majority did not want them they should not be elected.  Which is odd since UK politics works with the party who win the most seats gets in power, so if only a handful had voted for them they would not be in power. Ignoring that, the next load of shouting was how the Conservatives had destroyed the county, the healthcare, everything, and that we needed Labour in power to fix all the things the Conservatives had broken. Err, lets look at the facts. 2015 was the 1st Conservative government in the UK since 1997. So thats 18 year. 14 of those years were under a Labour Government, and the last 4 under an ineffectual coalition (coalitions never work when both parties have vastly different views). Now I am not saying the Conservatives are the best, or perfect. But since our healthcare, infrastructure, and welfare has been failing for many years now it seems insane to blame a group of people who have been in power for less than a year, its more likely that they inherited the mess the country is in. Yes we are in a state. No Labour is not the solution. the 14 years they were in power proved that. We did not get into the state we are in over night.  Give the other party a chance, you may not agree with them, but you should give them a chance, and not instantly scream for the previous guys back in, when all evidence seems to point to them breaking everything to start with.
37. Who did you miss?
No one. “ high functioning Sociopath” Remember? Remember? from Question 22?
38. Who was the best new person you met? 
I have considered the new people I have met this year, from Masonic Orders, The Widows Son’s, and online and while I have met a few interesting, and decent people there are none that jump out as “The Best” So I am going to go all sentimental, and say Callum “the littlest” Maguire.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015?. 
A valuable life lesson I learned this year?. Well I never thought I could write None-Fiction, I have published fictional stories, and while the majority of this blog is None-Fiction it is of a more comical and insane vien than actual factual none-fiction. After writing four academic papers, that did not get laughed at, or pulled apart by my peers, and that a couple of them I actually liked, I have realised that if I put the work into research, I can actually write None-Fiction. Also, when you stop procrastinating and force yourself to actually do something, you can actually enjoy yourself.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 

I’m just a Maserati in a world of Kia’s

Genius would describe any of my ideas

If I was born in 1453 Leonardo Da Vinci would be jealous of me

But a world of Stevie Wonders will never see.  

It’s a burden being wonderful like me.  

“The Burden Of Being Wonderful” Steel Panther