The Laxatives were Super Effective

Terrible insomnia last night. When I finally did get off to sleep I dreamt that I was hand crafting miniature figures of characters from Little Orphan Annie, a project that also (for some reason) required a miniature replica of Bassendean Oval decorated with a gigantic beer advertisement. I can only blame too much cheese.

Anyway, you may (or may not) have noticed that there hasn’t been much activity on the Wyrmlog throughout the last month. This is because – in addition to the usual stress in the run up to the festive season – I was dealing with a potentially serious health issue. Without going into too much hideously organic detail I was suffering a series of intestinal upsets allied with strange abdominal pains, which led my doc to order a full endoscopy and colonoscopy, which for the uninitiated means sticking cameras into both ends of my poor, abused body to try and figure out what the hell was going on.

Now of course the worst case scenario was cancer…

And while based on my symptoms there was nothing to particularly indicate cancer there was nothing to not indicate it either. So until I got the tests done I was in a state of some nervousness. By which I mean only just staving off blind, screaming panic by sheer effort of will, which left very little time for such things as writing blog entries.

So, I spent the weekend before Christmas not eating and downing vast quantities of various nasty liquids and pills that did a quite effective job at aggressively clearing out the entire length of my digestive system, and on Monday went in to hospital to have cameras go adventuring where no cameras had gone before. These – naturally – turned up nothing more than a bit of general inflammation and mild diverticulitis which while not completely explaining my abdominal pains managed to rule out any nefarious malignancies about to drag me into an early grave. Thank God.

Since then I’ve been regaining my mental equilibrium courtesy of turkey sandwiches (perhaps the most reliably enjoyable aspect of the holiday season), Minecraft and a number of really excellent books I got for Christmas. I can particularly recommend The Martian by Andy Weir which I received at about 12:30 on Christmas day and finished at 11:30 the same night, having been quite unable to put it down. I’m also working my way through The World of Ice and Fire, which Rebecca and Dom kindly got me, knowing my penchant for getting way too into the background detail of fantasy settings.

(On that note, could it be any more obvious that the Andals are Anglo-Saxon expies? “The Axe”, c’mon! And what’s up with all the Lovecraft references? Oh, and a proper map would be nice. You know, this really sounds like I don’t like the book – nothing could be further from the truth, it’s just that fulsome praise is boring to both write and read, so I’m merely nitpicking at a really excellent work. Go and buy it!)

Anyway, so that’s what’s up. I was worried I might die, but it turns out I probably won’t any time soon. I hope you’ll all agree that this is a good thing 😀

PS: World Without End was pretty good, wasn’t it? Nora von Waldstätten, wowee! Although why did they make the Tower of London look nothing like the actual Tower of London?

PPS: It’s too hot today!

Musical Tuesday – Christmas Eve

It was Christmas Eve babe, in the drunk tank…

Yes, it’s Christmas Eve, and while I am not currently incarcerated in a drunk tank it’s an essential part of my festive season to make sure I dust off my copy of the Pogues’ (featuring Kirsty MacColl) Fairytale of New York (1987) and give it a spin (virtually speaking – clicking on it in iTunes doesn’t have quite the same ring).

Exactly why an Irish ballad about drunks, failed relationships and broken dreams should feel so quintessentially Christmasy has always puzzled me. But there’s no denying that it does. And a lot of people seem to agree. It’s been voted the best Christmas song of all time on numerous occasions, and re-enters the charts every December, over 25 years since it’s release.

Its enduring popularity however is not without controversy – chiefly over it’s use of the word “faggot”. It has been claimed that in Ireland the word traditionally means someone who’s lazy, but this hasn’t stopped numerous attempts at censorship, including by BBC Radio 1 who blanked the word (along with ‘slut’) for several hours in 2007 before public outrage forced them to change their minds.

Our second selection this week is Twisted Sister with We’re Not Gonna Take It (1984). It’s particularly well known for it’s video clip featuring Mark Metcalf more or less reprising his role of Neidermeyer from the movie National Lampoon’s Animal House.

By now you’re no doubt saying “Denys, that’s a great song and all, but what in the name of all that’s sane and holy has it got to do with Christmas?”. Well, let’s try a little experiment shall we? Sing with me mi amigos! We’re not gonna take it! No! We ain’t gonna take it! Did you sing along? Be honest, you didn’t did you? C’mon it’s not going to work unless you do!

Let’s try again. We’re not gonna take it! No! We ain’t gonna take it! Well, I have no way to tell if you did or not, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. So, now sing it again, but with some different lyrics. Come all ye faithful! Joyful and triumphant! See!? See!? It’s exactly the same tune!!

This is not some great revelation. Dee Snider has never made any attempt to conceal the fact that he borrowed the tune. It’s just an interesting little musical factoid that many people have never noticed, despite it being hidden in plain sight.

So that’s it for this festive edition of Musical Tuesday. A merry culturally appropriate festive celebration to all, and to all a good applicable time of day!

Happy Taumas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all cross the zone,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a drone,
The fire-ports were locked with their lasguns in place,
In the hopes that an enemy would soon show his face,

The guardsmen were sleeping, tucked up in their billets,
Dreaming of recaff and sizzling grox fillets,
For the rations were low, the supply lines were cut,
The Commander sat up with his rumbling gut,

Unable to sleep he pondered, and tried,
To figure how long they could last unsupplied,
Then on the perimeter sounded a klaxon,
He leapt to his feet, glad of such a distraction,

Across to a gunport he flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutter and lifted the sash,
The night vision auspex he pulled to his eye,
Providing a scan of the objects outside,

His bolt gun unholstered, preparing to shoot,
He beheld a Piranha and eight spikey Kroot,
And a little blue driver with a slit in his brow,
He knew in a moment it must be a Tau,

The Tau and his Kroot flew in over the ice,
And he whistled, and shouted (via translation device),
“Now Gnawer! Now Chewer! Now Nibbler and Biter!
“On Shaper! On Shooter! On Slicer and Fighter!

“To the top of the bunker! To the top of the wall!
“Now lift away! Lift away! Lift away all!”
To the top of the bunker the xenos all flew,
Boxes strapped on to the Tau and his crew,

The Commander spun round, as the ceiling hatch popped,
Through it the Tau and his porters all dropped,
He looked like a daemon, his skin pale and blue,
His oddly cleft face and his cloven feet too,

But a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Showed the Commander he had nothing to dread,
Not speaking a word, they went straight to their task,
Resupplying each backpack and filling each flask,

Then raising salute with a hand sign quite strange,
They headed back out to the place whence they came,
The Tau primed the piranha, the Kroot gathered round,
And away they all flew, barely making a sound,

Yet to the Commander he yelled (via translator),
“Happy Christmas to all, for the Good that is Greater!”


(The Inquisition turned up at the rise of the sun,
Destroyed all the evidence and purged everyone)


The delightful Helen Killer (AKA April Winchell, who’s probably done voices for something you’ve watched at some point) has once again put her collection of awful, awful holiday music up on Regretsy for you to share and enjoy. Among the files ready to find a new, permanent home on your hard drive is this, which I have just decided is the best Christmas song ever recorded (to quote April, make sure the cat is outside).

God bless us, every one!

Y’ha-nthlei is Deeper than they know…

The festive season is definitely upon us – I can’t get It’s Beginning to look a lot like Fishmen out of my head.

Still, I suppose it’s better than getting earwormed by the original version…

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