Venomous Bite

My primary blog


Access Provision Problems

So this is how it is.

At about 09:00 this morning, the ISP went down and, after some fits and starts, stayed down. I'm currently negotiating with a friendly neighbour to borrow his ISP until Wednesday night, but if his jealous and possessive wife has anything to do with it, she's probably going to turn the damned router off on Wednesday evening out of spite.

This current arrangement is stable for tonight and tomorrow, possibly Wednesday morning - but Wednesday evening, I might not be available at all.

Consider it another Hiatus, though a lesser version of the Great Hiatus I had last November - and for a different reason, the last one being due to upper abdominal surgery.

I'll try and stay online as much as possible tonight, get as much done as I can for Wednesday's scheduled blog posts. But if I disappear at random, you will now understand why.

As for the ISP problem, I bet it's the router. No worries with the digital TV or the phone - even with broaband internet access down, TV and phone have never been affected. Only the internet. So I have been in touch with the ISP, and they have ordered a service engineer to come along and try and sort out the problem. If it is the router, as I suspect, it shouldn't cost us anything because it's their equipment that's at fault.

So that, as they say, is how it is.



Just wanted to put this little window onto this page here. For when I want to look at something relaxing, to go with rainfall sounds.



This should truthfully go to my science fiction sister blog of stainless steel, but I though I'd poach this from her and use it here instead.

I found this YouTube soundtrack today (2014 03 22), and thought I'd share it with you as a musical interlude:-

As I pointed out in The Project on my website Hypnotic Erotic, as a competent hypnotist I can toy with my clients' sensory modalities and perceptions. They see, hear, touch, taste and smell what I wish them to sense; and you would be astonished what they perceive.

So, you may ask, where does that end? If they cannot trust their own senses, where do they go from there?

Well you may wonder. However, there is an answer.

My Code of Practice.

Specifically, the bit about Your Space Is Sacred.

During the session, whatever happens, happens, and you just have to go along for the ride. But when the session's over ... your senses, your headspace, are yours. The world looks the way it did before the session; you think your own thoughts; your actions are your own.

And the choices you make are entirely yours; as are all the consequences.

Now pay attention to the words in the track above.

Asato Ma Sad Gamaya

That's Sanskrit. In fact, they are the opening words of the Navras prayer, and the English translation is

From The Unreal, Lead Me To The Real

The second line reads

Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya

which translates to

From Darkness, Lead Me To Light


Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya

which translates to

From Death, Lead Me To Immortality


Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

which reads

Let There Be Peace, Peace, Peace



Every now and then, some humour is appreciated. So here are a few things to think on.

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed.

The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard.

The guy then says "OK, now what?"

A joke, according to Heinlein, is an anecdote containing imagery of people suffering in some way or other.

I tried water polo, but my horse drowned.

There are also jokes based on personal misperceptions of the world.

I went down to my local supermarket and I said: "I want to make a complaint. This vinegar's got lumps in it". He said: "Those are pickled onions."

Sometimes, humour can come from unexpected places. My aging eyes, for one thing. I am always misreading signs. A while back, I saw a sign outside a recruitment agency which read "GODDAMN SKILLS." Took me a double take to realise they were asking for "GOOD ADMIN SKILLS." And another time, when I was handing Mum a box of hair dye from L'Oreal. Recital Preference. I could swear there was no "I" in that word "RECITAL."

And there are misunderstandings about the way the world works. Such as why I can't find any entries for ninja schools in the Yellow Pages.

Then there are the other observations, sometimes really bad puns:-

The other day, I visited a zoo. It had one exhibit. A dog.

It was a Shih Tzu.

Larry Niven once called laughter "an interrupted defence mechanism," and observed on the folly of someone deliberately setting out to activate someone's defence mechanism.

Jane was watching vigilantly at her dying husband's side.

"Sleep now, it's all right," she told him. But he kept trying to sit up and said, "Honey, I really need to tell you something."

"Easy," says Jane. "You can tell me, if you want."

"Jane, honey, I need to tell you something before I die. During the last two months, I slept with your sister, your best friend and your mother."

"Don't worry about it," Jane said, "I already know. Why do you think I poisoned you?"

I hear there's a position open for an awards presenter at WorldCon.


Vedic Maths: A Simple Formula [Video]

Gaurav Tekriwal, Vedic mathematics tutor, delivers his latest lecture for people who are a bit mathophobic.
He, like a lot of people who love numbers, is trying to remove the fear of numbers.
Watch, and enjoy.

Video: A Simple Formula ...

Vedic Maths India website and store



XKCD Now - XKCD 1335

I just had to post a link to this XKCD entry; the first XKCD I've been enthused over since last year's majestic epic "Time."


This was the image at 2014 02 26, 09:15 GMT.


The Chemistry of Love

I've been looking into the brain chemistry behind the emotional response called "love." Love is a very complex biological interaction between any number of different brain chemicals, most notably the following:-

That Initial Spark

Nerve Growth Factor

The first sign of love is triggered by a small protein hormone molecule called nerve growth factor. This neurotrophic hormone is released the moment one first falls in love. Nerve growth factor is known to cause euphoria and feelings of emotional dependency. Its release leads to the release of all that follows - the attraction and lust reactions, infatuation and, in the long term, feelings of bonding and attachment towards one's partner.


This hormone stimulates production of adrenalin, which causes the heart to race. Typically released alongside PEA. When someone in love says that their heart "skipped a beat," this would be the cause.

Lovesickness and Infatuation

These hormones are, in a complex manner, responsible for romance, physical and sexual attraction, lust and infatuation.

Phenylethylamine, also known as phenethylamine or PEA

Chocolate is rich in PEA. As a naturally-occurring brain hormone, PEA induces feelings of being head-over-heels in love; the symptoms include loss of concentration and sweaty palms.


The reward hormone, dopamine is also produced by the brain. Dopamine increases feelings of wellbeing and of anticipation - looking forward to something, usually the next encounter with the object of infatuation.


Serotonin is responsible for feelings of infatuation with something or someone. Like the other hormones, serotonin operates on the brain's limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotional responses and feelings.

Ghrelin and Peptide YY

Ghrelin is a natural hormone, known as the "hunger hormone." The stomach produces ghrelin, which tells the part of the brain called the hypothalamus that the stomach is full. Likewise, the intestine also produces a hormone called Peptide YY when it is full, telling the hypothalamus to turn off cravings for food.

A person who is deeply in love is often seen to have lost their appetite, for as long as they remain infatuated by the object of their desire. These hormones are the cause of this appetite loss.


Oestrogen and Testosterone

Practically everyone has heard of these two hormones. Apart from moderating the sexual functions of males and females, these hormones also induce feelings of lust, arousal and attraction; by triggering erections in a man, distending the nipples and clitoris and vaginal secretions in a woman and dilating blood vessels in the skin to cause hot flushes, the body shows its sexual interest in a potential mate.


The following two chemicals are strongly linked with bonding and long-term attachment between partners.


Oxytocin is released in a number of ways - being caressed; being kissed, particularly if the kissing involves nibbling of the lower lip; being in good company; just after an orgasm. A mother and baby release oxytocin throughout the duration of pregnancy and just after childbirth.

Oxytocin promotes emotional bonding and attachment between people, particularly between mothers and children. The so-called "trust hormone," oxytocin opens the mind to trusting the object of attachment. The effects of oxytocin can last for up to two years from exposure.


Mostly found in males, vasopressin has the same effect as oxytocin, in that it stimulates pair-bonding. Vasopressin could be involved in feelings of fidelity towards one's partner.

It's All Chemistry

Next time someone talks to you about "chemistry" in terms of an ongoing relationship, you can tell them that their words are not just a metaphorical expression.


Post 500: Welcome To My Empire

All weekend long, I have been trying to think of something suitable to put in this, my 500th post for To Scape The Serpent's Tongue. And you know, the only thing I can think of is to show you the blogs of my little empire.

Here, to begin with, is The Plainclothes Clown - the first dedicated blog I ever ran. Still active, but showing its age.

I also run a Dreamwidth blog, in case you're interested, though I update that even less frequently than The Plainclothes Clown above.

In addition to this blog, of course I run four other blogs here on this site, and yet another four on tumblr. Here they are; just click on the pics.

My Blogger Blogs

Hypnotic Erotic

Perchance To Dream

The Stainless Steel Blog

tlhIngan paQDI'norgh - Klingon Teachings

My tumblr Blogs


Hypnotic Enticement

The Daily Klingon

What Dreams May Come

So far, then, that is my empire as of five hundred posts to this blog. These are all the blogs I'm going to have, unless I decide to cancel a blog or two in the distant future.


Experimental Transparent GIFs

Just want to try these transparent gifs out. See if they work here on this blog.

Edit: Apparently, they do.

From Totally Transparent.


Sunday's Exercises - Answers

Here are the answers to Sunday's exercises:-

July 19 2019 - Friday January 2 2016 - Saturday September 6 2017 - Wednesday
February 11 2015 - Wednesday March 25 2016 - Friday August 7 2018 - Tuesday
October 13 2019 - Sunday May 29 2015 - Friday December 14 2017 - Thursday
June 29 2015 - Monday April 23 2018 - Monday November 20 2017 - Monday

Just keep practising.


Month Numbers for the 2010s Part 2 - 2015 - 2019

The previous post covered the months of the years 2010 - 2014. This article looks at the second half of the teens, and the years 2015 through to 2019.

As before, we make use of the figures for the month tables and year tables, and the method is as described in the previous post.

The unadjusted month figures are:-

MonthMonth Number

The year numbers for 2010 to 2014 are:-

YearYear Number

And the day numbers are:-

Day NumberDay of The Week

2016 is the leap year in this group.

The adjusted month figures for 2015 through 2019 are:-

Month Unadjusted 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
January 0 3 4 6 0 1
February 3 6 0 2 3 4
March 3 6 1 2 3 4
April 6 2 4 5 6 0
May 1 4 6 0 1 2
June 4 0 2 3 4 5
July 6 2 4 5 6 0
August 2 5 0 1 2 3
September 5 1 3 4 5 6
October 0 3 5 6 0 1
November 3 6 1 2 3 4
December 5 1 3 4 5 6

Other than that, the game is the same.

Practice on the following dates:-

July 19 2019 January 2 2016 September 6 2017
February 11 2015 March 25 2016 August 7 2018
October 13 2019 May 29 2015 December 14 2017
June 29 2015 April 23 2018 November 20 2017

The answers to the previous exercise are:-

July 4 2014 - Friday January 21 2012 - Saturday September 16 2010 - Thursday
February 13 2012 - Monday March 13 2012 - Tuesday August 27 2011 - Saturday
October 3 2013 - Thursday May 4 2010 - Tuesday December 4 2010 - Saturday
June 19 2013 - Wednesday April 26 2010 - Monday November 1 2010 - Monday


Month Numbers for the 2010s Part 1 - 2010 - 2014

Following on from this previous post, here's a shortcut to help you to work out what day any particular date falls on in any year between January 1 2010 and December 31 2019: the 2010s. I will do something for the 2020s later; this is to help you to work out the days that dates in the Teens fall on.

This is the guide to the first five years of the Teens, between 2010 01 01 and 2014 12 31. The second part covers the five-year period between 2015 01 01 and 2019 12 31.

The Method

The method, as explained in the older article, is simple. First, reduce the date of the month to a number below seven by removing the highest multiple of 7 from it. Thus the 23rd of a month yields the date number (23 - 21) = 2.

Second, add to this the month number, followed by the year number, as determined in the tables in the previous post. The month numbers for all years are the same:-

MonthMonth Number

So, for instance, for the 23rd of September, add the month number for September (5) to the reduced date number (2); that yields 7.

Now adding the year number for the given year results in a number which can be reduced by further multiples of 7. Let's take the example of 23rd September 2014, chosen because 2014's year number is 2.

The date number + month number are 7; 7 + 2 = 9. Reducing this number yields (9 - 7) = 2.

Lastly, this final figure yields the day of the week on this lookup table.

Day NumberDay of The Week

In the above example, 23rd September 2014 falls on a Tuesday.

The year number for each year in this decade are worked out by adding the difference between the year and the last leap year, which in this case is 2008 (before the scope of this article) and 2012. The leap year in the second article falls in 2016.

The year numbers for 2010 to 2014 are:-

YearYear Number

2012, being a leap year, has its own special rule: when working out a date in January and February in a leap year, after adding the month number subtract 1 before reducing the number by casting out the 7s.

Let's take 17th February 2012 (leap year: year number 0) as an example. 17 - 14 = 3; 3 + 3 = 6; 6 - 1 (for the leap year) = 5; 5 + 0 = 5. 17th February 2012 falls on a Friday.

Let's take a shortcut, now, and put the month numbers and year numbers together, preloading them before using them to work out the days any date falls on. These numbers have been reduced, where the adjusted numbers come to 7, 8 or 9 (a number reduced to -1 is changed to 6, etc).


Don't worry! You won't have to memorise the whole table above! Just the month and year tables. The big table just contains the month and year figures already worked out for you.

Some examples using the big table:-

June 30th, 2013

30 - 28 = 2. The figure for June 2013 is 5. 2 + 5 = 7; 7 - 7 = 0. June 30 2013 fell on Sunday.

April 26th, 2012

26 - 21 = 5. The figure for April 2012 is 6. 5 + 6 = 11; 11 - 7 = 4. April 26 2012 fell on Thursday.

August 8th, 2014

8 - 7 = 1. The figure for August 2014 is 4. 4 + 1 = 5. August 8 2014 will fall on a Friday.

Now try it out for yourselves. Work out your birthdays in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Now work out your friends' or relatives' or loved ones' birthdays in 2010 and 2012. Make a game of it.

Practice on the following dates:-

July 4 2014 January 21 2012 September 16 2010
February 13 2012 March 13 2012 August 27 2011
October 3 2013 May 4 2010 December 4 2010
June 19 2013 April 26 2010 November 1 2010

Part 2 tomorrow, covering the years 2015 to 2019.


The End Of 2013

So we come to the end of 2013. There are just so many entries posted this year, on so many different topics, that I can't possibly do this blog justice by posting links to them all. So I'll just focus on the here and now: and here and now is me sitting here, with the TV off, a fresh diary at my side ready to record my dreams and my folks planning the end of the year.

Some things about this year, I can't say I will ever miss. The swollen gall bladder, for one. This awful UK government, for another.

But some things I will cherish. My birthday; my friends, who turned up for it; my f'lists on tumblr, Facebook, G+.

A 50th anniversary Doctor Who special that was worthy of the best, and the Christmas special last week which saw Matt Smith leave the scene and Peter Capaldi to begin his reign.

Pick TV (later just Pick) showing Stargate Universe, Stargate Atlantis and the final two series of Stargate SG-1, letting me see the episodes I never got the chance to and giving me some closure. Also, showing The Dresden Files, and letting me see that wizarding drama for the first, and last, time. And Pick is not the only channel which has been memorable this year - Agents of SHIELD premiered on Channel 4.

Camp NaNoWriMo, for giving me that one chance last Spring to write a full novel this year - The Shadowed Art, featuring a scene between two protagonists - Osric and Seren Mai - that is one of my favourite scenes. I very nearly had to drop out of Camp NaNoWriMo due to that aggravating gall bladder; I did have to drop out of NaNoWriMo in November, due to the surgery to remove that gall bladder being far more aggressive and complicated than the surgeons had thought it would be.

That gall bladder. It was the bane of my existence for most of this year. Even its removal became a disruptive source of aggravation. It was meant to have been a simple laparoscopic cholecystectomy. I woke up with a long scar across my upper abdomen that will be there for the rest of my days. But at least, I guess, there will be no more gallstone worries - certainly not next year, when I hope to have novel projects going for Camp NaNoWriMo next year, not to mention next November's NaNoWriMo, including the rebooted novel The Empty Shadow, not to mention my third neuro story and "Island of Stars."

I will always remember the joy I got from writing this year. Writing for Mongoose Legend, for NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, and writing for the Chester Fantasy Writers club - which I joined late this year. I just love imagining the shocked expressions on their faces when they read the likes of "Scarred" or "Hypnotrice," with their heavy sex scenes.

This was a year for hard politics, too. The government are hell-bent on ruining this country, then running off with all the money. And we're going to have to stop them, even if it does end up with troops being deployed in the streets and cars being overturned.

Still, among all the downbeat news about the tories, there was a real cause for celebration. Margaret Thatcher died, at long last. 2013 03 08 will be a day marked with joy for a generation.

New Year's Eve has always been a bit problematical, at least regards getting online. I'm scheduling this thing to post at midnight, but chances are I won't be online to see it come on because of all the internet traffic. However, in 2014 I may well do a few minor retrospectives of the past year's blog posts - not just here, but on Hypnotic Erotic and elsewhere.

All I can say right now is, even if you don't see me online tonight at midnight, I wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2014. See you all there.


Missed Chances

I'm not good at relationships. It's said that, while I was growing up, I never really learned the skill of making friends. It was only later in life, as an adult, that I began to learn what is essentially a skill that I should have been learning around the time I was learning to tie shoelaces. It's a skill that parents really need to teach you - and frankly, Dad never taught me anything.

The good news is, folks, I became very self-sufficient as a result. I have all that I need: all that I will ever want.

The bad news is, I'm absolutely lousy at picking up the signs that somebody wants to start a relationship with me. It just doesn't register that anybody would want to go out with me, or even just fancy my company for just one night. Seriously. I might have missed out on dozens of chances over the years, and probably will continue to blithely miss many more.

With that in mind, here's an article on psychopaths and relationships. Enjoy.

The Psychopath's Relationship Cycle


Free Market

I'd planned on buying a Kobo Arc to go with my Kobo Touch ereader. I wanted something with a bit of colour, so I could read The Strix Chronicle and The God-Machine Chronicle in colour. Among other things.

So Smiths are selling Kobo Touch at £30 each these days - HUGE bargain price, folks! - and when I went wandering upstairs I saw that the same Kobo Arcs are on sale at £100. There's an identical model downstairs at £150. Somewhat bemused, I asked the assistant whether the £150 model had, say, 64 Gb internal storage. Nope; 32 Gb, just like the £100 ones. So I asked if there were any other features that the standard Kobo Arc at £100 didn't have. Absolutely NONE. NO difference whatsoever.

So I said "Basically, then, the only difference is that this model here is £50 more expensive just for three letters after the name - Kobo Arc 7HD, instead of just Kobo Arc."

"Yup," they reply.

"Can I have one of the hundred quid ones?"

"Sorry. They've all been withdrawn."

"How long for?"


So I ask them "So you're telling me that they are trying to force everyone to have to spend that extra fifty quid over nothing?"

It looked like it, according to the staff.

My next words were oh so carefully chosen.

"Screw them!" I said, cheerfully. Then I cheerfully told them what was going to happen next.

I told them that Kobo have committed suicide, market wise. Nobody is going to spend an extra hundred quid over three letters on the front. The most that they will do is buy the little Jobo Touch at thirty quid and be happy with that.

And what was going to happen today was this. I take my hundred and fifty quid, and I take it straight back to the bank, and it stays there. In six months, either those Kobo Arc 7HD with the fancy letters will be a hundred quid, or even seventy quid ... or I'll get a good bargain from Jones the Computer on an Android tablet that will do me nicely, thank you.

Either way ... no sale. Kindle don't get my money; Kobo don't get my money. Nobody gets my money, and I go home with my Kobo Touch which still works just fine, and it's only a matter of time before I end up with a second hand tablet of some description that will give me what I want - the ability to read my books in glorious colour and maybe even write.

But today, WH Smith does not go home with money in pocket, and that is their fault. And Kobo's.

And that is Free Market Capitalism in a nutshell. We're still free to choose not to buy from greedy, salivating nutcases.


Siege Mentality Sci Fi SUCKS

So I saw the rebooted Battlestar Galactica last night, and finally got a taste of the First Decade's "siege mentality sci fi" fashion for the first time. What worked well for the likes of Lost was clearly being done for BSG (not to mention Heroes).

All the cautious optimism of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. the cheerful - now considered naive - optimism of the first four Star Trek series and the animated series, and the joy and chills of Babylon 5, had been swept away by executives who wanted Bush-era paranoia, fear and arbitrary, random death, with protagonists happily violating the very laws and principles that formed the foundation of their civilisation, just to survive.

The sheer joie de vivre of the first six Star Trek movies and Gerry Anderson's shows ... unfashionable. This is the fashion we want for you now. Random, spiteful, dangerously corrosive stuff. Yes, it's okay to have an ethical dilemma about shooting down a civilian vessel - as long as you do it anyway. Better shoot them down while it's out there than have to shoot at them when it's in here. Ethics? Let's put them in the dustbin here, because if we keep believing in such outmoded things as liberty and rights, the terrorists will win, so let's give up some of them to preserve our freedom and won't George Orwell be proud of how we've eviscerated our culture with words?

I can see what they were aiming for with Stargate Universe, now. I wondered why SGU's first season sucked so, so hard. I don't think they could have brought it back if they'd guaranteed at least one full-frontal nude scene with Ming-Na Wen in every episode.

Rush should have revealed Destiny's mission right at the start: the script could have called for Rush, or Daniel Jackson, to explain that they'd stumbled across a record in the Ori galaxy that they'd unearthed whilst digging for the Ark of Truth, in which the Ancients had discovered the Structure and launched Destiny off on its mission long before the Ori had arisen, and so on. That way, the teams arriving on Destiny would have understood what was at stake, and they would have worked together as they did when the Atlantis Expedition first arrived in the Pegasus Galaxy.

But no, the execs wanted strife. They wanted fractiousness. They wanted mistrust and deceit. They wanted internal civil war.

Because it was the fashion. Not so much "Lord of the Rings in Space" as "Lord of the Flies in Space."

They tried something different (but just as tacky) with Star Trek: Enterprise; the very thing that they tried to do with Babylon 5 Crusade - a kind of sanitised T&A, with frequent scenes featuring Hoshi Sato and/or T'Pol in their skivvies in Decon or in the shower or, in one memorable case, dropping her lingerie and letting it all hang out in front of Trip - and look what happened there.

I can also see what they were trying to aim for when they rebooted Star Trek with Lost's (and Armageddon's) JJ Abrams, to try and bring it back to the young kids of today, Gettin' Down Wit' Da Kidzzzzz, Goin' For Da Yoof Vote.


I'd like to point out here that, in 2009 when Abrams rebooted Star Trek, we should have been warned when he blew up Vulcan in the movie, because if that was not a symbolic gesture - "I just made logic an endangered species" - what was?

This first decade, going on for a decade and a half, has produced some of the worst science fiction and fantasy for a generation. The worst part about this decade is that, unlike the Seventies - the last crisis era for science fiction, when it was dying on its feet - the genre was lucky enough to have a George Lucas come along and kickstart the genre with the original Star Wars, even as 2000 AD was rebooting the genre over in the UK. And we're lucky enough to have the rebooted Doctor Who, because otherwise we wouldn't be having any current space-based science fiction series at all.

You have to ask: what do you want now, in your science fiction / fantasy / horror? Do you want the fashion of the day / year / decade, whatever the studio executives put in front of you and tell you that This Is How It Is? Do you want something that will be timeless, however naive it might seem down the line, like Star Trek or Firefly?

It's about what you want. Not what the executives tell you to have. And you really need to stand up and show them.

X-posted to The Plainclothes Clown and The Stainless Steel Blog.


Caganerwatch 2013: Last Minute Roundup

And so, with Christmas Day looming, a last look at the caganers and Christmas fails to have come across my desk this year ...







The Caganer









As the traditional saying goes, Menja Bé, Caga Fort, I No Tinguis Por A La Mort! (Eat well, shit a good deal and don't be afraid of death!)

Merry Christmas, everybody!


Alan Turing - A Royal Pardon At Last

It has been 61 years, but at long last Alan Turing got his Royal Pardon.

Daily Telegraph

Business Insider



So far, no mention of this news on the BBC's page.

AFAIC, they should never have persecuted him in the first place, the homophobic douchebags.


Playing Catchup

Well, here's a thing.

Today, Hypnotic Erotic has not only got the distinction of having the two most-viewed blog posts I've ever made, and twice as many page views, month on month - but right now, it has surpassed this blog in overall all-time page views.

And it looks as if Hypnotic Erotic is probably going to shoot on ahead and leave this poor old blog of mine in its dust.

We don't want to see that happen, do we?


Gall Bladder: What Did They Do?

Here's a little more information on gall bladder removal, a procedure known in the medical profession as a cholecystectomy:-

Removal of the Gall Bladder

In open cholecystectomy the gallbladder is removed through one large incision in your abdomen. This technique is called open surgery. It is a more invasive operation than keyhole surgery. You need to be in hospital for longer and it takes longer to recover.

Open surgery is now usually only used if there are medical reasons why laparoscopic cholecystectomy cannot be safely performed, or if the surgeon decides that it would be safer to switch to open surgery during the procedure (this is known as conversion).

Here's a diagram.

Here's another diagram, showing what they had to do.

This is what I'd hoped to see upon recovery:-

Unfortunately, this is what greeted me when I came up out of anaesthetic:-

Still, the end result is the same - freedom from that abdominal pain, and renewed vigour and joie de vivre, after what had felt like a lingering shadow looming over me for nearly a year.

Totally worth it.

The New Normal

I still find it hard to get into the new normal.

I look at my long scar, and feel along the ridge of the length of it like one of those Roman fortifications, a miniature Offa's Dyke stretching across my abdomen, curling downwards at one end.

I'm getting used to a body now slimmer than before, with the abdominal swelling removed. I'm getting used to loose-fitting clothes. I'm getting used to having a lighter step.

Most of all, I'm getting used to not having a lingering abdominal pain.

It's a new normal; but while these scars are still definitely taking a lot of effort to get used to, it is a normal that I think I can enjoy getting used to.


Caganerwatch 2013: Why No Britney Spears?

I can get you a pic of Lady Gaga as a caganer ...


... I can get you Amy Winehouse ...



Mick Jagger ...

John Lennon ...

Michael Jackson ...

... and Elvis:-

However, I draw a blank at Britney Spears. Can't find a Britney caganer anywhere. I wonder why? It's almost as if there was somebody going around telling people to leave her alone ...


X-posted from The Plainclothes Clown.


For A Friend

Just posting this for a friend of mine who is watching this movie tonight. I adore this theme.

Caganerwatch 2013: Celebrity Caganers Of The Day

Today's celebrity caganers are all Star Wars-themed.


guardia imperial



I tried looking for a Han Solo, but it looks as if it shat first.