Artisan Challenge Update (Midway)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Artisan 2016

Artisan Challenge 2016

It is time to do the midway¬†update on the “Artisan Challenge“.

YES. I know “technically” the midway update was due on the 1st July, which is midway through the year. But I was running a bit late, and since this is my blog I can claim one and a half months as “a bit” ūüôā

And you’re not the boss of me Internet!

A Reminder.

The Challenge for 2016 we are calling “Artisan 2016”

noun: artisan; plural noun: artisans
    a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.

The reason for this name? Well because all the challenges (and there are three parts) are artistic or creative in nature.

1/4 DONE

Quarterly Non LOLS Papers

Once again “You’re not the boss of me!” I know the generally accepted definition of Quarterly is every quarter, but I have decided to count it as four over the year. Now before you get all shouty in the original description of this part of the challenge I did state “I am aiming for four papers over the year, and since I will probably do the Quarterly LOLS papers again this year, the new challenge is for none LOLS papers of topics I pick myself.”¬†So four papers over the whole year.

  • Paper 1:¬†Kuji-In – An Introduction to the Nine Hand Seals. COMPLETED
  • Paper 2: Unnamed – Research complete and its currently being written up
  • Paper 3: Unnamed – Researching
  • Paper 4: NO IDEA YET



Art Project

I did do a post a short while back updating how the Art project was going. (By Short while back I mean at the 1/4 mark) Since then the project has continued along, with doodles and plans, and small bits being worked on.

Below are a few snippets of bits of the doodles/notes in no particular order/sense.


100 Days

This started on April 1st and ran for oddly 100 days until it finished.

It can be viewed over at my 100Days Blog.

National Blood Bike Awareness Day

Friday 12th August 2016 is National Blood Bike Awareness Day. Blood bikes are the silent emergency service, transporting blood for blood transfusions, injuries and emergency responses for emergency services, the NHS and other medical services. These unsung heroes are all volunteers.

Blood Bike Awareness Day is organised by the National Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) and aims to promote awareness of the lifesaving work the NABB does in conjunction with the NHS and emergency services.

Blood Bikers are the 1,500 men and women all over Britain who provide an out-of-hours rapid response courier service as well as transporting hospital deliveries across the country. The Blood Bikers are all volunteers, and in 2014 they responded to around 39,000 urgent requests from hospitals, saving the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Every night, expert motorcyclists with the word “BLOOD” written on their reflective jackets speed from hospital to hospital in the United Kingdom to pick up and deliver emergency medical supplies. By day they are electricians, lawyers, priests, and pilots, but by night they are the Blood Bikers. More than 1,500 volunteers provide coast-to-coast coverage, carrying everything from blood, platelets, and plasma to breast milk, vaccines, and surgical equipment.

Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day (2016)

I thought I would take a minute out of my busy hectic day to give a shout out to all my fellow under-appreciated systems administrators out there in their dark offices on this the 17th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

Consider all the work your sys.admin does behind the scene, keeping your network connection running, your email not being overly flooded with spam, your IM’s running at a decent speed, and being there to fix a server outage at 3am just so some people can go look at the funny picture you uploaded.¬† Consider how often this creature gets thanked on his day to day fight against spammers, hackers, lUsers, Software Updates, etc Consider this, then be happy that this IT Hero gets one day a year when (s)he gets appreciated.

So everyone, go take a coffee, cake, or gift to your sysadmin now. or at least drop by their hidy hole to say thanks.

For more information on this IMPORTANT festive day go read THIS SITE

For those about the Insane Asylum Myself & Demopengu¬†are fond of Cake, Beer, & Chocolate (Oh and anything with glowing blue LED’s) !!!



Consider this as well. Your Friendly SysAdmin has access to your email, they know what you have been doing and to who. They see all the packets of data traveling back and forth from your machine, seeing when you are working and when your just browsing ebay/facebook/etc, They know what websites you’ve visited (and can change your history to show you been looking at p0rn in the office), Stuff you may not want made public.¬† They control your password, your login name, your email address, how much of the networks bandwidth you can use, what IM clients are banned, and a million other things that help you through the working day.¬† Consider this well, and remember, “Its only one day a year!

Happy We let you off the Reins to Join the Big Kids Day

toddler-reinsFour score and seven years ago, or in 1776 We decided that the young country of America had become old enough to trust not to run out in front of traffic, or try and play with dangerous animals and as such we took the reins off.

There comes a time in every parents life when you have to trust that your early guidance and teachings have given your offspring all the help they need to make their way in the world alone.

So the UK took off the training reins and watched as America took its first hesitant steps on it’s own. Yes there was a few stumbles and mishaps along the way. Several times America slipped and cut its hand or knee and UK wanted to pick it up and hold it safe.

“Maybe we should leave the reins on for a bit longer.”


But like all good parents we stayed back, Watching carefully and holding back our urges to guide and jump in at every hurdle. You have to trust your children will do the right thing.

I will say, America you grew up ok. Ok. you have made some really poor dating choices, and Looking at your teenage photographs “What were you wearing??” But all in all, you did well.

SO we here in the UK in general, and the Three Ninjas Temple in particular would like to wish you a Happy Anniversary of your First Steps without the Reins!!

Happy Independence Day.

have you had a car accident in the last 3 years

The annoying constant PPI phone calls have finally reduced to just the occasional one every few weeks.

But the peace is not to be enjoyed as the “Have you or anyone there had or been involved in a traffic accident in the last three years” calls have risen to take their place. And these guys are much more aggressive.

  • “Have you or anyone there had or been involved in a traffic accident in the last three years”
  • “They must have”
  • “someone there will have had some accident. ask them now!”
  • “There WILL BE SOMEONE.”

So the other day after a dozen calls in under a hour, from the same number. Someone who will remain nameless may have gotten a tad annoyed.

Cold Caller

HI. Have you or anyone there had or been involved in a traffic accident in the last three years?


OMG! How do you know? Are you a reporter?

Cold Caller

What? NO.
So you have been in a accident in the last three years because……


It wasn’t my fault!
I am not to blame!!!!!

Cold Caller

That is good to hear. So what kind of accident were you involved in?


It was the radio’s fault.

Cold Caller

The radio?? errr…


Heart FM’s fault to be exact.
If they had not put on Justin Beaver, I would not have had to take my eyes off the road to try and make it stop. Gods I had to make it stop. So how was I supposed to see the car ahead of me stop sharply?

Cold Caller

So you went into the back of them?


I managed to stop the hideous music and lookup in time to swerve off the road, and I missed them. The issue is with the Bus Stop.

Cold Caller

So you swerved to avoid a car and hit a bus stop?


Oh, I missed the Bus stop, well it was just a lamp post really, No, the issue is with the queue of people waiting for the bus.

Cold Caller



Well most managed to jump or run out of the way.

It was just the pregnant nuns that could not waddle out the way fast enough.

Cold Caller



Yes, Nuns. You know those odd women who dress up as penguins and are all married to the same guy?

I know some say its an odd fetish, but personally I think it has to be some weird cult.

I have nothing against fetishes myself, nothing wrong with a bit of bdsm.

Cold Caller

BDSM? what, hang on.


bdsm, you know like 50 shades but much less rapey
My safe word is Pineapple!

Cold Caller



That’s rude.

*buzzing on phone*




Anyone there?



That was the last such call we had. And there has been none since.

The world is an odd place..

Graig Aid Music Festival 2016

Hi Everybody.

It is that time of year again when the GraigAid People are pleased to announce that they are back again for this year‚Äôs two day charity live music festival which will be held on July 22 ‚Äď July 23¬†2016.

We here at the Three-Ninjas in a un-characteristic gesture of cooperation and helpfulness have decided to help spread the word a bit, and get some helpful information for YOU dear Constant Reader by interviewing an un-named member of the organisation team.


Three Ninjas: So Deep Throat, nice to chat to you again. We may call you Deep throat right?

Deep Throat: I would rather you did not! In fact I want your assurance now you will not be calling me Deep Throat, or the interview is over.

TN: If you do not want to be called that, we will respect your choice.

DT: You did not last year!

TN: Ok. So GraidAid. Let’s start with the basics. When is it this year?

DT: It will be held on the 22nd and 23rd July 2016.

TN: And where?

DT: Once again we are back at the Three Pigeons in Graigfechan. (Location Details: Here)

TN: That was a little bit odd. You just responded with a href web link. Are you drunk?

DT: What? Wait? What kind of interview is this?

TN: The awesome kind. So talking of Drunk, Will there be anything good to drink at this years event? Just asking as some of our readers are alcoholics, err Drink connoisseurs. 

DT: The event is in the grounds of a PUB! there is plenty to choose from, including  real ale and ciders, hot food, etc. Including some very nice local brewed real ale, And this year there may be a Super Secret Surprise!

TN: a Super Secret Surprise? Can you tell us some more about that?

DT: I could, but then it would not be a super secret surprise would it?

TN: So. How’s this years line up going?

DT: We have many bands,many individual artists, and field entertainers confirmed so far, you can get a basic list here

TN: And Tickets?

DT: They will be available very soon from our website along with tickets for Camping.

TN: There is camping available, for those who wish to drink late, and not drive home?

DT: Yes, the camping tickets need to be booked in advance because we need to allocate spaces and confirm to rules and regulations. 

TN: Do the entry tickets need booking in advance?

DT: No, only the camping. Entry tickets can be got on the day. But we recommend people pre-book them anyway.

TN: SO. If people want to know more about this event what should they do?

DT: Well they can visit out official website or go see our Facebook Page, Twitter account, etc to be kept up to date on all news and details.

TN: Thank you for taking a break from your hectic schedule to spend a few minutes answering our questions.

DT: It was a pleasure… HEY! hold on a moment, you did it again, you spent the interview calling me Deep Throat?

TN: Is that our phone.. Right got to go…..


Merry Midsummer (2016)

Just Wishing one and All A Happy *INSERT NAME OF CHOICE HERE* Day.

Summer Solstice @ Stonehenge

Summer Solstice @ Stonehenge

Remember on this day:-

In the words of Wil Wheaton, “Don’t be a dick.”
In the words of nerdfighters, “Don’t forget to be awesome.”

Have Pride in your Geeky Towel Day (2016)

GN: Well today is May 25th Which can mean only one thing! Towel Day.

R: What about Geek Pride?

GN: Well today is May 25th Which can mean only Two things! Towel Day, & Geek Pride Day.

R: What about sanitation?

GN: Well today is May 25th Which can mean only Three things! Towel Day, Geek Pride Day & Sanitation. Sanitation? Oi! This is not degenerating into a monty python sketch!

CN: “Hang on Guys! Didn’t you have this exact conversation last year?”

GN: R: We hate your face!

CN: “Again with this conversation?”

GN: R: We Still hate your face!

CN: I give up!!!

CN: REALLY??? Are you really that lazy??

GN: R: We Still REALLY hate your face!

Today is May 25th which is a day of celebration for two reasons. :-

Towel Day

We are all aware of the greatness of towels, we learnt this information in Chapter 3 of Adams’ work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

The original article that began Towel Day was posted at “Binary Freedom,”

Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams
Monday May 14, 2001 06:00am PDT

Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (May 25, 2001) be marked as “Towel Day”. All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.

So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!

‚Äď D Clyde Williamson, 2001-05-14

Details taken from Wikipedia.

Geek Pride Day

Geek Pride Day is an initiative which claims the right of every person to be a nerd or a geek. It has been celebrated on May 25 since 2006, celebrating the premier of the first Star Wars movie in 1977.

Basic rights and responsibilities of geeks

A manifesto was created to celebrate the first Geek Pride Day which included the following list of basic rights and responsibilities of geeks.


1. The right to be even geekier.
2. The right to not leave your house.
3. The right to not like football or any other sport.
4. The right to associate with other nerds.
5. The right to have few friends (or none at all).
6. The right to have as many geeky friends as you want.
7. The right to be out of style.
8. The right to be overweight and short-sighted.
9. The right to show off your geekiness.
10. The right to take over the world.


1. Be a geek, no matter what.
2. Try to be nerdier than anyone else.
3. If there is a discussion about something geeky, you must give your opinion.
4. To save and protect all geeky material.
5. Do everything you can to show off geeky stuff as a “museum of geekiness.”
6. Don’t be a generalized geek. You must specialize in something.
7. Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every geeky book before anyone else.
8. Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related T-shirt, all the better.
9. Never throw away anything related to geekdom.
10. Try to take over the world!