The underdog sleeps tonight

Many thanks for the offers on the bows – I’ll be in touch tomorrow.

Tonight I have to sleep, because tomorrow I have to view a potential new home. Right size, right place, right price. Looks very promising indeed.

Unfortunately they want me to look at it at 8:30 am. Quite why anyone wants to look at anything at that time of day is a mystery. It’s the morning, all the shadows are pointing the wrong way and it gets confusing.

There can be no booze tonight. I can’t turn up smelling even faintly of whisky or be even a touch dazed or red-eyed. Bright and sparkling and the sort of bloke any landlord would love to have as a tenant.

Bright and sparkling. At 8:30 am. Is that even possible? Would anyone even notice?

Still, it is definitely worth the effort. Anyone who has my current address, get ready to burn it. I hope it won’t be valid – very soon.

Me, shutting down before midnight? You know it’s serious!


I have to divest myself of dangerous things. Soon I will have no space to store them and no place to use them. I can get more dangerous things in the future. To be honest, I’m quite dangerous enough – mostly to myself – without adding sharp and pointy things to the mix. Especially sharp and pointy things that can be fired at quite some speed.

This is my takedown recurve bow with the string fitted the wrong way around. The beads marking the arrow nock should be in line with the arrow rest on the handle. Since I wasn’t planning to fire it, there was no point fiddling around with changing it.



It was soon returned to its takedown condition anyway –


Yes, it has a good case and a string fitting thing. You need that. Not many people can string one of these by hand.

It’s a KAP Surprise bow, a good one for a beginner and powerful enough to make holes in most things. Especially people so you do have to watch where you point it.

Ammunition comes in an arrow storage box –


– but for actual archery that doesn’t look too good. What you need there is a fine leather quiver with belt.


A three tube quiver with pockets for bits and pieces. What bits and pieces? Mostly these –


I never used those plastic arm guards. I have a leather one with a dragon embossed into it that I find it hard to part with. The finger guard is useful if you want to keep your fingers from going numb. Beads and bead pliers for fitting your arrow locating beads to the string and a lining-up thing to tell you where to fit them. Not in the picture is the little thing of wax to lubricate the string. It makes a difference.

The posh flipper rests I never got along with. I just used a simple one. I also never fitted the sights because I didn’t need them and couldn’t work out how to use them anyway.

The rubber grip is for pulling arrows out of targets when you embed them a bit too tight. It’s useful…

The bow does have holes for fitting all those girlie balance weights so beloved of show-offs but I never needed them either. Nor, to be honest, did I ever understand what they were meant to achieve.

This lot will all go on eBay. If anyone wants to make an offer for all or part, I’d rather sell it all privately.

Also going up for sale is my crossbow. It’s a Barnett bow, a Panzer V with telescopic sights and looks like this –


This is the bow that punched through a target, a palette, a plank and the garage door with one shot. If you think you’re safe in your car, this thing will penetrate the car door and pin your leg to the seat. If you hold it so your fingertips are above the stock, it will take off your fingertips when you fire it. Definitely not a toy.

I do have the original namby pamby sight that came with it in case you’d rather slum it with that.

It fires these –


Really pointy little arrows. The coiled-up wire is the thing you need for changing the bowstring. Even Arnold Scwarzenegger would have difficulty doing that by hand.

There is also a quiver for this one, again in leather with a belt and pockets –


The crossbow will be problematic on eBay but the rest won’t. However, I put them here first to see if anyone out there is interested in any bits before I let eBay take ten percent. I am open to offers; it all has to go.

There are many more dangerous things in my possession. Neither I nor CynaraeStMary are really safe with these things. It didn’t matter to me before but it does now, so it’s time I removed some of the excessive risk from my life.

And maybe turn some of it back into cash. Any offers before it goes under the ten percent hammer of eBay?

Life, work and eBay

Interesting times.

Mopzilla is now gone. I won’t go into detail about why he’s gone but it’s better for all concerned that he has, including him. We’re back to just me and Boss doing seven half-days a week each until we find a replacement. He lasted long enough for both me and Boss to take the time off we needed so it wasn’t a total disaster.

Our third wheels never last long. One of us must be scaring them off. I’m sure it can’t be me. Anyway, Mopzilla’s demise wasn’t my fault nor was it Boss’s fault. It was his.

This week was Nadia and Obelix’s week.

CynaraeStMary has been playing with Obelix on Twitter with a little help from a friend. Poor Obelix still has no idea who he’s talking with even though the clues are now so blatant I might as well tattoo this site URL on his forehead. How can they not have found me yet? I’m right in front of their eyes now. Obelix is even talking on Twitter with my only-ever co-blogger!

Boss knows what’s going on on Twitter, even though she’s not on it. I was forced to show her one of CynaraeStMary’s tweets to Obelix because I fell about laughing when I read it.

Boss is also well aware of my current situation and has given good advice on the now-urgent new home hunting. I might have somewhere this week. Somewhere much better than I expected. Fingers crossed.

Nadia, ah, the blank eyes are no allure but so tempting for the tormentor genes.

She cut herself shaving and went septic this week. Okay, it was her ankle she cut and I advised her not to use a chainsaw to shave her legs in future. She did have a real pus-production thing going for a while but apparently it’s clearing up now. Pity. I had plans for a plumwood leg with a castor on the end. It would have been an easy sale.

The real killer was when I was phoning Boss on Sunday night. Nads had asked to bum a cigarette at the end of the shift. No problem, I torment her so much I owe her at least that.

I phoned Boss to tell her that everything was okay, Mopzilla hadn’t done anything stupid or nasty on his last day and she could come back from holiday with no worries – other than that she is the only number on my new phone, which could have interesting consequences if Wife finds out I have a new phone.

While on the phone, Big Nads was demanding her snout so I told Boss ‘I have to go, Nadia wants me to give her one’.

Boss started laughing. Nadia didn’t. At the back door, with Boss still laughing on the phone and The Misery (ex-Mopman) present, Nadia loudly demanded I give it to her there and then, because her mum was waiting outside and if I gave her one in front of her mum then her mum would go ballistic.

Yes, yes I think she probably would.

At this point, Mopman could hardly stand up, I was shaking with laughter and Boss was howling down the phone. Nads had the only straight face within hearing range.

I offered my cigarette case without speaking because at this point I couldn’t. She took one. She could have taken the whole case, it was so worth it (but don’t tell her or she will next time).

She left and there was a lot of laughing before Mopman and I could leave. It cheered Boss up a bit and she’s in need of cheering up lately so it did a bit of good. It was also incredibly funny.


I have to load another batch onto eBay. Doing well so far and haven’t touched the railway yet. I discovered that old teaching microscope slides sell at about £2 each and I have 200 of them. In two nice wooden boxes. They can go now.

Remember the old railway tickets that were little cards, around 1960/1970? I have a few of the metal plates used to stamp them. Somewhere I have even older typeset ones. These don’t seem to be on eBay at all so finding a price will be hard.

And I have to sell off my armoury of deadly things. Not just to stop me damaging myself with them. She’s just as bad as me for meddling and I can imagine coming home to find she’s pinned her hand to a table with the telephone just out of reach and a look of ‘Oops’ in her eyes. Fortunately I am always well supplied with first aid stuff.

ebay seems to work best with an end time between 7 -9 pm. Avoid ending on Friday or Saturday because people with the money to bid are out getting plastered.

Postage is killing it though. It’s getting ridiculous now. I have two pistol crossbows to send tomorrow (should have been today) and it’s actually cheaper to send them in two boxes rather than one. Combine them and you go into the next parcel level.

Crazy times here. Normality will eventually resume.

Or at least, as close as it gets here.

Doctoring your mind

I haven’t looked at the Daily Mail much for a while. That’s done me no end of good. Still, too much good can be bad for a man of my age and so I ventured into the Pages of Madness for a browse. It wasn’t long before my new-found hippie calm was shattered into the sharp fragments of the rage of earlier times. I had to re-don the hat for this one.

Dr. Max the Mind Doctor isn’t a psychiatrist. He’s a GP whose remit now includes mind control.

He doesn’t call it that. It’s ‘advice’ or ‘health promotion’ or some such doublespeak nonsense that actually means ‘mind control’. Do as he tells you, believe what he says, live your life as directed. Be compliant, as the subliminal messages around you say…


…and which hardly anyone notices.

I have a very large chunk of that article to play with here. I could rip apart every word but why? Most of the readers of this blog already know it’s all bollocks and those who can’t see that will never see anything beyond the propaganda they soak up like desiccated sponges on a water binge night.

According to a study published yesterday, those who are wealthier, better educated and have children who’ve left home are more likely to drink at harmful levels than any other group. The researchers warned that affluent baby-boomers are ‘sleepwalking’ into ill-health.

So? If they have the money to buy the booze, the kids are all grown up and need no looking after and they are smart enough to know what they are doing, where is the problem?

According to a study published yesterday. As in, a study that has is full of the sort of made-up crap that gets grants re-issued. There is no science any more. There are no scientists left, certainly not in the health field. Only paid propagandists.

I know this only too well. For many years I worked in drugs and alcohol services and I’ve seen countless men and women who appear to have it all: a good job, financial security, a nice car.

If those are all the things they wanted then they do indeed have it all. Again, where is the problem? These people are capable of looking after themselves, they’ve proved it,  and they are paying a hell of a lot of tax for the privilege. Why not take a look at Benefits McChavvybastard and his mates drinking Red Stripe on a park bench all day, every day? Oh, right, that bank clerk isn’t quite so likely to headbutt you into hamburger for asking a dickhead question.

Scientists used to poke dangerous things to see what happened. Now it seems all they do is poke jelly and mushrooms and invent what might have happened. A sad and tragic end to a once noble career option.

Yet, each night, they essentially drug themselves up with booze. It is not uncommon to see middle-class professionals consuming well over 100 units a week — the equivalent of ten bottles of wine — when guidelines say men should drink no more than 21 and women 14.

This is pure prohibitionist talk. I am a lot more sober these days – I now have a reason not to drink myself to death as regular readers will know – but ten bottles of wine a week? Get stuffed. I was putting away seven or eight bottles of whisky a week for years and did not consider myself an alcoholic. And I proved that recently by going nine days with no more alcohol than two half pints of beer while a full whisky bottle sat on the kitchen table for a week. I didn’t even crack the seal.

I’d go a day or two at a time without any booze before that just to check I wasn’t dependent but if my bank manager had known of my whisky expenditure back then he’d have had a contract out on me.

CynaraeStMary spotted the link in Roobeedoo’s post. to an old post of my own. I didn’t spot it myself, it’s under the first GIF image. Not that long ago but I have no memory of writing it. At that time I was on a bottle of whisky a night, sometimes tipping over into a second if I had one available.

And I didn’t die. I didn’t even get sick. I am possibly the only one my age on no medication of any kind at all. Then again, I did write things and then forget…

They sit there convincing themselves that some mean-spirited jobsworth has dreamed up alcohol limits deliberately to spoil their fun. ‘What do they know?’ is their refrain.
Well, what anyone with a brain knows is that alcohol is a poison. And while some people manage to dodge its effects, many, many don’t.

The alcohol limits were entirely made up. That has been openly admitted by the ones who made them up. It’s not even a secret. Yet Dr. Mind Control here insists that those who deny the limits are based on any kind of science at all must be delusional.

Truth is delusion in Dr. Mind Control’s world. Only fabrication offers real truth.

Alcohol is a poison now. There is no safe level. A hint of my whisky breath this time last year would have killed thousands. If only I had known. Still, one glass of a peaty one might be enough to make a drone need nappies next morning. Booze and smoke, together? We are talking Armageddon here!

I see some fun times ahead…

Rab the Haggis – a review

I doubt anyone has noticed my recent absence, and anyone who has probably thinks CynaraeStMary has me chopped up and frozen somewhere. Not so, I am alive and active and sorting the valuable from the worthless in my vast collection of stuff.

Quite a lot will be simply abandoned. I could just dump it all but thought I might as well turn some of it back into cash. There are likely to be expenses incurred in the near future but that’s all under way and going well so far.

That’s enough babble from me. I know you’ve been getting used to the rather more concise and focused posts of CynaraeStMary lately and I don’t want to bamboozle you all with irrelevant asides and random digressions just yet. Therefore, taking inspiration from my co-blogger (I have a co-blogger! Reclusive me!) I will get to the point.

Uncle Marvo used to be a frequent commenter here but I haven’t heard much of him lately. That is, until CynaraeStMary and I were discussing writing and she mentioned she’d had a copy of a little book he wrote some time ago.

It’s called Rab the Haggis. Only available as an eBook, it’s not long enough for print yet.

So I wandered over to Amazon, waved my shiny Kindle at it and bought a copy.

I know Uncle Marvo thinks it’s shite, and I know he thinks I’m only mentioning it because I was told to, but he’s wrong on both counts. Does anyone really imagine that some slip of a girl, even a Viking one with an army of remote controlled killer penguins, is ever going to succeed in telling me what to do? No, this was my idea.

The story is a short one, but there is a sequel – and I now know Marvo has made progress on more. All together there’d be enough for a print book, with illustrations by the author. Yes, he can do illustrations too. I am consumed with envy.

It could also benefit from a little editing although it’s clearly been well proofread because I didn’t spot a single typo. Impressive for a tale told largely in Scots vernacular which contains words for which even the Scots have never really defined spellings.

This first short story tells of Rab, a wild haggis. We join the story when he has just spotted a spoot, a strange little creature that happens to be the favourite food of the haggis.

The spoot persuades Rab not to eat him. From here I can’t say too much in detail or I’ll spoil the story but suffice to say that Rab offers to die to help the spoot, while the spoot finds a way to prevent Rab’s death using a tesseract.

Okay. I know at least two of you think a tesseract is some kind of kinky sex device and that this is going to be some Fifty Shades of Tartan style filthy depraved romp. Stop salivating, it’s not. It’s child-friendly good clean fun.

The story includes a bit of multidimensional physics as well as magic, humour and quaint Scottish wildlife. It’s a little bit educational that way.

Marvo insists the work is a load of shite and should be ignored. I disagree (no Marvo, she didn’t tell me to say that either) and I think it could work as it is – the short stories individually on eBook and the collected stories in one print book.

Marvo, if you’re passing and you want someone to look over and edit the stories, and show you how to be in print for free, drop me a line.

I won’t be able to do it in a hurry because of things that are happening now, but if you can be persuaded to write a few more of these little stories, I’ll be glad to help out.


Now I return to the bizarre world of eBay and the strange complexities of the British postal system. It’s quite a labyrinth in there. If you want to examine my progress I am ‘Gutbugs’ on eBay.

Tomorrow you get the sensible one back. She has regular features and logical, non-rambling posts. It’s about time this place had a bit of balance.

One of those annoying rambling posts

Chaos is so far averted, but it could strike at any moment. Preparations continue with a goal of being out of here by the end of the month. I would prefer it stayed amicable but I know it won’t. It’s just a matter of time now, and not much time at that.

I now have one of those magic phones that cram the entirety of the internet into something that looks like a coaster. It’s about as thick as a coaster too so I have ordered a cover to keep it alive. It could be my only internet link for a time.

It’s a Lumia 535. I bought the phone and added a contract SIM with 4 Gb per month internet time. Carphone Warehouse have a deal that included £36 cashback so I got the phone for just over £50. Which seems cheap considering what this little thing is capable of doing.

If you buy a Microsoft phone, connect it to your WiFi first. It’s Microsoft. It is going to download updates as soon as you turn it on. So far it has downloaded a gigabyte of updates, fortunately all through the WiFi so it hasn’t used a quarter of my monthly internet time.

I hesitate to call it a phone because I’m not really sure how you go about making phone calls with it. It does let me flip between Twitter accounts, it has Farcebok on there (I haven’t tried linking to that yet) and Skype too. Yes, the phone has a phone app.  I can log into the blog from my phone now. From my bloody phone!

There was a time, not all that long ago, when only posh people had a phone in the house. Now every Tom Dick and Harry has one in their pocket. I understand how my grandmother felt now. She was born before the invention of the motor car and might have reached her teens before seeing one.

Anyway, it is no longer possible to permanently separate me from the internet. No matter what happens, the Underdog will continue.

The other big part of the current exodus is selling stuff on eBay. I have accumulated a great deal of stuff, and find now that I care for very little of it. It was all just distractions. I could walk away and leave it all and not think about any of it ever again but much of it has a cash value. Cash is in short supply and I’m going to need some. If I’m really stuck, my brother has offered to help out, as have quite a few of you readers. I would prefer not to impose, if at all possible, but I appreciate the offers nonetheless.

There is a great deal of cash tied up in stuff here. A surprising amount. That’s before I even really touch the railway stuff – I have surplus there but might not need to sell yet. It could remain as an investment for the future.

I have to sell the banjo. A five string banjo best played with a six fingered hand. I haven’t learned to play it yet and don’t have the time now. That, I think, I will take to the local banjo shop and see what I can get second hand. It’s actually a local music shop but since the only thing I bought in there is this banjo…

It could go on eBay but I really don’t trust the post with this.

I found all the stuff for the takedown recurve bow and will put a picture here before it goes on eBay. Since eBay take 10% I can sell at 10% less than the average eBay price and get the same. I also have two pistol crossbows and a full size one but I bet the post office will get all sniffy about taking those. The swords, I think I’m stuck with those forever.

I have a carousel slide projector which surprised me somewhat. I thought I’d got rid of that years ago! One for the dump, nobody wants them now.

Oh and someone was interested in my old microscope slides a while back. I have a nice wooden box containing 100 prepared teaching slides that’s going up for sale. Details on request.

I own a Rotozip Rebel. I have used it, and I still have all my fingers. This will surprise many of you, I know. It is possibly the single most dangerous power tool ever devised and so I simply had to have one. My house has inset shelving in one wall thanks to the devastating evilness of this little drill/saw/grinder/death machine. It’s a wonderful thing but I don’t need it any more.

There’ll be more power tools going on eBay. Not the scroll saw. I need that. Nor the Dremel. I need that too. And I need all the power drills because… well, power drills. What else need I say? I know every guy out there is nodding sagely and every woman is rolling her eyes but hey… power drills, right?

Did I mention before that the baker gave me whisky? The last week has involved mornings in Gadget Shop and evenings in Local Shop and air at home you’d need the finest ceramic knife to cut and about 4 hours sleep a night so it was all a bit hazy. I nearly went full Romulus on the staff at one point midweek. Which would have been a shame. They don’t deserve that.

Anyhow, the baker gave me a bottle of Glenmorangie for the little chairs and table. I didn’t expect any return on those, they were done for the fun of it but being appreciated feels pretty good, I’m finding. The bottle remains unopened so far. I could have cracked it open last night since today was a day off but a week of little sleep and no alcohol followed by a blast of whisky would have floored me.

I think that is what is known as ‘common sense’. It’s a new concept. All part of the underdog update that’s being gradually downloaded into me ;)

I’m being upgraded to Underdog 2.0 from Underdog 1.0.fuckit  It seems like a massive improvement to me

And so it seems I managed to trade plum tree sticks for posh whisky. Purely by accident. Is it odd that I see nothing unusual in this?

You know, I really thought I was the only one n my situation until I told you all what it was, It seems it’s common. Wife tormentors get reported but husband tormentors rarely do. We guys like to pretend we can cope but you know, even the hardest of us just crack sometimes.

We’re human. Sometimes we forget that.



Clearout time

I have started putting things up on eBay. I’m still ‘Gutbugs’ on there, my earliest internet incarnation.

So far it’s model kits I’ll never find time to make and since they are hardly rare kits, I could buy them again if I do get the time. There’s much much more. The delay is partly caused by the bizarre postal rules in the UK where you have to determine the dimensions as well as the weight of each package and then select from a bewildering array of postage options. That’s just within the UK!

As I sort through the stuff, I do find things and wonder ‘Why do I even own this?’ Like the large box containing two mains powered light-up squirrels for garden use. Never got around to installing them.

There are sensible things too. A five-string banjo I won’t have time to play with any more, a metal detector, a takedown recurve bow with arrows, a one-man tent that isn’t going to be appropriate in the future…

I’ll put some of the 1/24 scale finished models on there. You never know. There’s a small Opel fire truck and a DAF kitbashed box van that are both right-hand drive. Few truck models in this scale come that way, and these didn’t either. In 1/24 I can easily do this again.

Tools – there is a laser-aimed bench-mounted circular saw that I bought to cut wood for decking and never used again. A bench grinder, and more. The scroll saw and jigsaw are essential items. I’ll keep those. And the drills. You can never have too many drills.

Although I suppose nobody really needs three angle grinders…

It’s been impossible to concentrate on that this week, with working early shift in one shop and late shift in another and trying to sleep a bit in between. Needless to say this has been a no-whisky week. Those hours and whisky do not mix well!

The clearout continues. Some will go to friends for safe keeping (some already has) and some as gifts and some into storage in my little lab. Eventually I’ll leave here carrying a shoulder bag and little else.

I have considered just doing that now. How much of this stuff would I really miss? Still, might as well turn at least some of it into cash first. I’ll need some of that, for sure.

There’s probably quite a lot of cash tied up in all the stuff here. Time to realise those investments ;)