An unexpected follow-up to “Book Ideas”

Just the other day I wrote a post asking for book ideas

In that post I mentioned Brian, a friend from rehab in end 2009 to 2010, with an amusing anecdote about him being covered in butter after I accidentally dropped a large container in the rehab kitchen. After hearing my stories there, he wanted to help me write and market a book. (This was long before my blogging and before I knew about any talent whatsoever for this.)

Brian went home to the UK after that stint in rehab here in South Africa, and now we’re in contact again. If you are a struggling addict in the UK, you can use his website to try finding a rehab.

He still swears his idea of combining our talents will work, and with my writing about our combined experiences, together with his marketing and publishing skills, we can publish a best seller, targeting 17 million addicts in the UK alone…

I remain doubtful, but it is something to think about. Anyway, if you are an addict who needs help in the UK, please do check out his website.

Book Ideas?

This week, another person told me I should write a book. This was in light of my blogging and as an idea for something to make money. I wish it were that easy.

The first time someone suggested I write a book was in 2009. It was this fellow named Brian, in rehab. He wanted to be my publisher. He seemed to think I could write a book about my life and recovery from meth addiction. “Too soon?”, I thought. I was right.

Sadly, the only other memory I have of Brian, and this is the one that lingers, is of him covered from head to toe in butter. Literally. Covered. I was working in the kitchen, and following instructions from the resident expert on how to soften butter. I can’t remember exactly what that involved, other than adding something to it and stirring in a large metal container. Unfortunately I was carrying the container from one counter to another in the kitchen, with actual butter fingers, when Brian walked by at the moment it slipped from my hands. He was truly a sight to behold, because when that container hit the floor, the butter exploded upwards right at him, covering him. Had it been possible to aim at him, I don’t think I could have been that accurate. Later he even showed me the butter he’d somehow missed behind his ears, after his shower.

Anyway, I don’t think I can count on buttercup Brian as my publisher. His idea seemed good at the time, but I don’t really want to write yet another book about recovery, unless I can say something unique from my perspective that I feel is helpful to others. Also, my life is boring. No, really, it’s not that interesting. I spend most of my time at work, writing c# code and solving programming problems that while interesting to me, would bore the shit out of most people. Not everybody gets excited about, for example, writing a generic reusable method that uses serialization and deserialization to relay XML or JSON Http POST requests from one WCF service to another. See? I bored you already, but this stuff is exciting to me.

I write this blog for fun. It’s not about money so there isn’t any pressure. Also, I write it mostly in autopilot these days. Much like when I’m in the zone programming and think about the application, with the actual code and all the classes and objects that seem to write themselves, it usually feels like the blog writes itself. I sit down with an idea and just write. There’s no need to stick to any particular topic because I write whatever happens to be on my mind. Blogging is easy.

It would not be so to write a book. Books need continuity. Ideas must flow from start to finish, growing into chapters that build on one another and complement one another, all while maintaining the interest of the reader. I don’t know about everybody but I hold books to a higher standard than blogs or other articles. If I lose interest on page two, or page ten, or even page two hundred, I put the book down and never pick it up again. I am not confident that I can write well enough for my own standards as a reader, and that’s the bottom line. Maybe I should write about self doubt?

But it would be nice to write a book. Something to cross off my bucket list if I had one and didn’t hate that term. Would my dry and sometimes subtle wit, as from the previous sentence, even work in book form? I certainly wouldn’t be able to pepper my prose with the word ‘fuck’, as is my wont here. A pity.

But what to write about? Recovery? Atheism? What? Fuck knows. All I know is that if I write a book, it has to be something I’m proud of, something I believe in, something that drives me to exclaim to everybody I know and some that I don’t, “This is my book!”. I don’t feel ready yet. Maybe I’ll never be.

This blog is now more popular than my other one… Thanks to you!

It sounds cheesy, I suppose, but I think it’s cool.

Wow… My recovery, atheism, and skepticism (and everything else on my mind) blog has finally overtaken my programming blog, in terms of daily views.

It’s taken a while to get here, considering the first post was on 19 April 2015.
The first post on the other blog was on 10 January 2013. (Yes, when I was using meth.)

It’s been a little weird competing with (some pretty good) posts written by the old me while tweaking on meth – I mean the older ones on the programming blog of course, and it’s good to see that the sober me is now more popular than the high me.

This blog:

The other one:

Also, this blog now has more content – 275 posts, compared to the programming one at 155 posts.

It’s been weird and sometimes frustrating to see that posts on the programming blog remained more popular than this one for a long time, despite the fact that I put a lot of effort into these, and very little into the programming ones… often it would be so for months at a time, even when I wrote nothing on there.

Then there’s that embarrassing header image on the programming blog… I tweaked for many hours in Photoshop to come up with it… Too many. Plus the actual name of that blog is a stupid pun… I was the king of stupid puns and senseless rhymes when I was high.

To be clear, I used to put effort into that blog, back in 2013 when I started it while still tweaking. But like most everything back then, it was a matter of misdirected priorities and putting effort not where it needed to be, but where my obsessive nature led me for no particular reason… All that makes it a grim reminder of how much time I wasted. (Although there is plenty of content written on there since I cleaned up. I still add new posts there, but nowhere near as often as here.)

Neither of these blogs have become as popular as the other one (that I removed). But I’ll get there eventually…

It’s funny… over the years quite a few people have flattered my writing and my writing ability, and suggested I get into it more full-time. This kind of writing, I mean the usual subjects here, comes easily. It’s easy to write about something that I either am an expert in (like how to fuck up your life using methamphetamine) or something I am passionate about, such as skepticism or atheism. But I wouldn’t have a clue how to write fiction. How to build up a world that’s convincing, characters that are believable and a protagonist that’s likeable… My analytical brain can pick that shit apart when it’s written by others, but I don’t know if I could do it myself. Maybe one day…

Bad attempts at puns are not funny, just stupid

I can’t seem to write anything significant this week… Every time I start something, then later abandon it. Hopefully I can finish my point and share this little pet peeve.

For comic relief, one of the sites I read is poorly drawn lines. It’s generally quite funny, off-beat humour. Sometimes it’s fucking hilarious.

And there’s a tradition in the comments section, a tradition of writing puns. Except that most of the people who write the puns don’t actually write puns at all. In a comment to the latest joke there at the time of this writing, which happens to be about the similarities between the words Prussia and Russia, somebody wrote a comment, “In tribute to David Bowie: Under Prussia.”

That’s just one example of many that is not a pun. From Wikipedia:

The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect.

Actually I didn’t know about the “similar-sounding words” part being a pun, but regardless, Prussia doesn’t sound like pressure. I’d consider similar sounding words weak puns anyway, but if I had to use them, I’d use words that sounded identical that were spelled differently.

Good puns exploit multiple meanings of words to comedic effect, preferably different meanings of the same word with the same spelling. Most of the “puns” in the comments on that site are even worse than the example I’ve given, which could arguably qualify as a pun. Most of them are so badly contrived that they are not valid words at all, and it pisses me off when I read them.

If you must write puns, why not take the time to think up decent ones?

Site Redirected

Welcome to anyone who got here via my old blog address. (

That blog is no longer publicly accessible, but you are welcome to follow this one from now on. I have not moved the content here – that would defeat the purpose of taking the old blog down. This means that if you follow links to the old blog, you’ll get 404 errors because those pages don’t exist, but hopefully the redirect will at least allow some of the readers to find this one. (I’ve only had one page view today – sob!)

Well, I hope the redirect will bring some traffic anyway… enough to justify the $13 redirect upgrade purchase. The redirect expires on 5 May 2016, and I will probably not renew it when the time comes.

I will be republishing some of my old content here, but haven’t had time to do so yet. So keep coming back!