Monday, June 30, 2008

Nota Bene

By the way, If you click on the pictures, you can see them in all their glory. Even the ones that are just a red cross.

Introducing Bill.

Meet Bill. I've had the last panel in my head for the past few weeks, and I've been slowly - oh so slowly - working the strip towards this point. And now, today, I've comitted it to... well I suppose not paper, maybe an electromagnetic pattern on the internet.
It's the way I write. I see the story as a landscape, leading off into the far distance, with a number of waypoints, of which this is one. I have no idea what I'm going to find as I make my way there. The details come seconds before I write them.
Do I know what is going to happen to Bill? Absolutely! The basic outline exists in my brain. Do I know the details of his journey? No way! The fun of writing this strip is finding out along with the audience what happens.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sic transit Lemony Teabag

I've just killed off a main character in my ongoing cartoon strip 'Bill the Klingon'.
Sir Lemony Teabag was an eminent Shakespearian actor who starred in such screen gems as 'Show us your tackle' and 'Centurion'. His final role as Saruman in the Klingon translation of the fourth Lord of the Rings film led to his tragic demise. He was last seen being dragged to uncertain doom in an alternate dimension by a hideous monster.
I shall miss Lemmy, but the demands of the plot dictated that he should be sacrificed. JK Rowling isn't the only one who can murder their darlings.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The return of Spellcaster!

I've had a week's break from Stripgenerator. So today I log back on, and find ... Spellcaster's back! He departed last month, after a bit of a tiff with Neochomik, but they seem to have made up. They're both polish, and I think they're both teenagers.
Neochomik's strips are unusual in that he doesn't use the predrawn characters, but creates them using the shapes. Simple but effective. Spellcaster loves to imitate. Neochomik got irritated because Spellcaster was doing similar versions of his stuff. But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Spellcaster made @lpha in April through sheer force of numbers. He does several strips a day - usually one panel jobs, and so gets a high turnover. But hey, all credit to him. He put in the effort, he got the reward.
I missed him while he was away.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Bill the Klingon - an intro

If this works, you should be seeing the latest but one episode from my strip cartoon, "Bill the Klingon."
I'm hoping to revive this blog as a forum for the strip. I'll also be able to discuss its progress.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long time no blog

I thought I'd better look in to celebrate this blog's second blogiversary. I haven't been updating since starting Bill the Klingon, which is taking up my creative energies. I got the top rated strip today - w00t! Will I be able to get alpha by the end of the month? Who knows?
If you want to see what I've been doing, drop in to and look for strips by DeaconBarry. If you go into the bribed section, you'll see several of my best strips.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Back to square one

Guess what? The edict has come down from on high. The MRSA screening time is back down to one month again. I would have claimed that it was this blog's influence, except that the descision was made on the day the previous post came out. Never mind, at least we won't have to cancel patients caught in the two to twelve month trap.
I suspect there's some sort of boardroom battle going on between the management and Infection Control, I wouldn't be surprised if there were further changes. But for now I'm rooting for the management.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sad news

*sob* I didn't get the Poet job. But I was up against people who've done this sort of thing before, so I'm not too downheartened. At least I tried for it. I now await with interest the arrival of the successful candidate through the doors of the Eye Pavilion (with a fully loaded, semi automatic sonnet!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Carry on screening

Up until the beginning of this year, it was standard operating procedure to screen patients, who had stayed overnight in hospital in the previous month, for MRSA, before they had an operation. Since the beginning of this year, it has been extended to a year. The result? We're getting a slew of unscreened patients who fell outside the one month cutoff when they were assessed, but are now within the one year cutoff. If a patient's MRSA status is in doubt, they have to go at the end of the list, so that the theatre can be deep cleaned afterwards. Which is all well and good, if there's only one such patient. What happens when you get two, or three? It hasn't happend to us yet, but it will. I expect somebody will just have to be cancelled.
So why don't they just screen everybody who's been in hospital overnight? Do you know how much that costs. I've just found out. One MRSA swab costs £32 to process. And you need five of them for an MRSA screen. That's £160 per person. £1000 buys you six. £1 million buys you six thousand, which is the output of about five or six wards in a year. One hospital's yearly total could be £5 million. Two hundred hospitals could spend a billion pounds on MRSA screens alone.
That's the sort of serious money the Government have to be willing to commit to fight MRSA.
What are the chances?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

News flash

I've been telling people at work that I've started stripping on the internet. Before you start running around screaming "The Horror! The Horror!" and start burning your eyes out, it's not 'that' kind of stripping. I've discovered a site that lets you produce your own comic strips. If you want to see what I've been doing for the past week, click on this link: and then you can start screaming...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I'm in ur oshuns, eating teh internets

The Indian internet has been severely hit by the as yet unexplained malfunctions of three submarine telecommunication cables off the coasts of Egypt and Dubai. Now on cabble being damaged is unfortunate, but, meh, stuff happens. Two cables getting damaged is a coincidence, but three? At the same time? That's a conspiracy surely? What are the odds of three cables going offline in the same month? I have heard it being blamed on ship's anchors, and certainly it makes more sense to put incompetence ahead of intrigue when looking for the answers to life's mysteries. I think, if another cable gets knackered, we're looking at vandalism on an oceanic scale. Either that, or Spongebob Squarepants has got a lot of 'splainin' to do.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pneumonia epidemic?

Jeremy Beadle has just died - of pneumonia. He was 59. My neighbour died of pneumonia recently. She was 40. Someone close to me has been in hospital recently with pneumonia. This blog documents some more cases. Now one swallow does not a summer make, and a few anecdotal cases do not make an epidemic, but I've never heard pneumonia being mentioned as many times as it has recently.
Please keep yourself safe. If you develop a persistant cough, go to your doctor and get it checked out, especially if your chest gets rattly. If there is an epidemic coming, and I stress the if, then you must take extra precautions. It can be treated with antibiotics if caught in time.
And see how long it takes for the mainstream media to pick up on this story.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bebo boy

Oh how hip am I? I've just started up on Bebo. Here's the link:
Here's a list of the things you can do
* Draw or write on my White Board (this is fun, I've just sent one to my sister-in-law who I've just discovered, is also on Bebo and is now my first friend)
* Upload, share and comment on unlimited photos (when I've got some uploaded that is)
* Read my bebo blog (And no deserting this blog!)
* And, er, other stuff.
My profile is still a work in process - I've uploaded my picture, and that's it. If you're on Bebo, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And now for a commercial break

If you're wanting a unique, handcrafted greetings card for a loved one, then you should look at this site:
Angela has just got the site up and running, but she's been making cards for ages. A lot of people at work have received some of her output on special occasions. She handed me the URL yesterday, so here it is.

Poet wanted

Gasp! The Eye Pavilion is looking for a poet, and they didn't ask me!
Midlothian Council regularly send me information about writing events. As I cast my eye over their latest missive, the words 'Eye Hospital' leapt out at me. Here's the letter.
Art in Healthcare - Poet for Eye Hospital Project
Area: Edinburgh
Deadline: Wednesday 6 February 2008
Art in Healthcare - a leading charity organisation that provides arts services to the healthcare community - requires a poet to create new poems for the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh. Poems will be presented in Braille/text and will explore or engage with the issues surrounding visual impairment.
As well as a good portfolio of work and creative talent, it is desirable that poet has one of the following:
Direct experience of working on creative projects in a community, public or healthcare environment:
Awareness of all the issues facing individuals who have gone through, or are experiencing visual impairment.
The project is due to be completed by May 2008. For more information e-mail: or tel: 0131 555 7638
I reckon that I qualify for this. I think I'll check it out.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Get the picture

This is simply shocking news from Texas. Apparently, they've been having a wheen of UFO sightings there, craft apparently a mile long, flying low and silently, pursued by military jets. But that's not the shocking bit. What I find unbelievable is that nobody has taken a picture of it. This is the twenty-first century, many cellphones have built in digital cameras. Anything unusual in the sky, and you'd expect the place to sound like a geiger counter in Chernobyl with all the electronic clicking.
But no. All we get is the usual wobbly video footage of an ambiguous light, that could be anything really - a weather balloon, an airliner, Dumbo...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Squashed tomatoes and stew

It's my birthday today. The second one I've had since starting this blog. I got some art books, one on drawing and painting fantasy landscapes and cities, one on fantasy beasts and one on fantasy vehicles. I'm feeling inspired just reading them.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not so jammy now

Please return to panic mode. The sun is back in play. The first sunspot of the new cycle has been spotted (urgh, I typed that before I realised the pun). Global warming will proceed as scheduled, and, oh yes, we're all doomed.
Mind you, it's very late, which might indicate a less active sunspot cycle, or a more gradual winding down of solar activity. But no rushing out for a SUV gas guzzler just yet, It's still Lexuses and solar panels for the roof on the agenda. Those carbon emissions have to be reduced, and we ain't got all century folks.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Put rubber gloves over your glasses before reading this.

Ah'm no weel. The doctor says I've got a viral chest infection. That's the kind you don't get antibiotics for. I just have to cough my way to recovery, armed only with a bottle of Co-op Bronchial Mixture. Karaoke is out, unless it's Old Man River or Wandrin' Star - the only songs known where a croaky throat is an advantage.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


It seems reports of the NHS Blogdoctor's demise may be premature. A troll has admitted to hoaxing the news of his death in order to provoke Dr John Crippen into a denial. Thanks to Julie for letting me know.
You've got to be very careful what you read on the internet, obviously. Everything should be corroborated before you publish. In the rush to be first with the news, you're likely to be burned.
He still hasn't spoken though, so we're none the wiser as to what's happened to him.