Destiny vs embarrassment

This is simply a retelling one of those moments in life where you become aware of something and have an urge to take a specific action. The trouble is that the action you want to take is one of those that you normally only see in a scene from a film, which always either ends well for the hero of that scene, or, by design, feeds the story along in a specific way for a specific purpose. How many times have we all seen or witnessed something and wanted to be the one who intervened in an ‘I’m Spartacus’ attention-demanding way? How many times have we afterwards said to people who experienced the same thing “I was going to say this” or “I was going to do that” only to have them reply “me too!” and yet none of us did. Trouble is, it takes some serious balls to that, but even that’s not really the problem. It’s more a question of doubt – could the action create more problems that it solves? Could it perceived incorrectly and therefore have the wrong motives assigned? What if the information you’re working on has been gotten ‘illegally?’ Where do you stand then? Continue reading “Destiny vs embarrassment”

The funny side of terror suspects

It’s very difficult, of course, to write a story that captures the moment of extreme laughter in a way that is meaningful to a reader sitting, well, where you are now. I bet you’ve tried it yourself, explaining to someone who was in no way connected to the event you are recounting, the circumstances that led to ‘everyone laughing hysterically’ only to be greeted with a polite smile on reaching the punchline. This is usually followed by a slight pause and either party offering the universal ‘get out of jail free’ card of ‘you had to be there’.

Even knowing that my efforts will therefore most likely be in vain,  I still feel that I have to share this moment with you. For the people involved, it is still, even all these years later, oft referred to, and invariably makes me smile just thinking about it, which is exactly what is happening right now as my fingers dance over the keyboard. Continue reading “The funny side of terror suspects”

Measure twice, cut once

Originally written a couple of weeks after my son, Jed’s, birth this was an accurate account of what happened and the unexpected complications we experienced. An edited version was published in one of the Maternity publications, but I forget which now. It’s long, but then a lot happened! Enjoy!

Measure twice, Cut once

A less than routine birth from a partner’s perspective

It was never routine for us. My partner, Clare, had had major surgery some ten years previously for a serious Crohn’s attack – a rather nasty, incurable and, in my opinion, completely pointless infection of the intestine and bowels – and been told that child bearing could be life threatening for her. This was a belief long held by her family who were visibly shaken when they found out she was pregnant. A little more complicated, sure, but not life threatening if all went well. All we needed to do was avoid a C section to be safe.

Hah. Continue reading “Measure twice, cut once”

Glory – A story for Computer Gamers

Originally written in 2005 and inspired by a simple computer game, gamers of a certain age and disposition will  no doubt spot its origins. Are you in the know?

I’m alone now. I’m possibly the only one left. My scanner shows no friendlies in range at all. I know there’s at least three left, and one of them has got to be carrying. It’s up to me. Crouched behind the crates, I pause to reload and take a drag of my cigarette. Some of the ash trickles down my front as I inhale and I replace it in the overflowing ashtray – I’ll need both hands and a clear vision to move forward.

I check my weapon, the Bullpup is loaded and a quick view through zoomed lens over the bridge reveals nothing. Silence. No radio chatter, just a soft hiss of the falling rain. Their target is no more than a few seconds sprint, but without a positive sighting it may as well be miles away. With a tense sigh, I stand up and sprint towards the stone room on the other side of the bridge. Continue reading “Glory – A story for Computer Gamers”

Possibly the most powerful seatbelt ad ever?

If you haven’t seen this you’ve got to do so, especially if you sometimes don’t wear your seat belt because ‘it’s a short journey’ or ‘there aren’t any cops about’ (insert own believable and fully self-justified excuse here). No blood, no gore, just three people in a front room with no dialogue and visuals so powerful, it’ll move you unless you’re some kind of emotional freak. Of course, it may be because I’m pretty much the age of the guy in the ad with a young family that it’s particularly effective to me, but judging by the youtube comments, this seems to reach pretty much anyone. Check it out, and make sure you watch it with good sound and totally focus on it for maximum effect. Oustanding film making.

Here’s the main site link:

Alternatively, here’s the youtube link with comments:

youtube embrace this link

What is a Quark anyway?

One of the things we are asked most is where our name came from. The formal definitions and history are shown below, but the idea was that since a quark is compenent of all matter, it’s a quantum version of what we represent in the real world. In other words, we, as a physical premises, are a gateway to the rest of the world via the internet. We are a mere component of something far greater. Deep isn’t it? There’s that and the fact we thought it was really snazzy sounding.

Here’s the formal definition: Continue reading “What is a Quark anyway?”