Archive for May, 2012


Perspective Is Everything

perfectly-timed-photos-24Life comes outta nowhere. Just when things are going well, just when your ducks are getting into neat rows and you’re taking those suckers down and you’re thinking “I’ve got this…”

That’s when it happens. Something changes the game, something you could never anticipate comes along and in an instant everything is suddenly different.

I am that curveball today. A walking, talking, “Hi how are you?” smiling curveball. It’s one thing to be at the receiving end, you’re oblivious until it happens and then it’s over. But when the glove is on the other fist? Fahk… that shit is too intense.

Perspective is everything in moments like these. You dig deep to find something you’ve done before that scared the fuck out of you and you realise what a walk in the park this is going to be in comparison. You can do this, everything is going to be fine…



God help you if you dig deep and come up with nothing. Then all that’s left to do is man up, slap yourself a few times hard in the face and get it over and done with.

In this particular instance I’m lucky, I’ve got a wealth of terrifying shit I’ve done before to draw from so I’ll be ok.

And if that fails, I’ve always got Macbeth to fall back on and that great and terrible exchange between Macbeth and his Lady when they’re debating the murder of King Duncan that I read once and never forgot:

Macbeth: And if we should fail?

Lady Macbeth: We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, and we’ll not fail.

And that’s all there is to it.

Screw your courage to the sticking place.

And drive that dagger through the King’s heart…



Diablo III Update – Vast Improvement

diablo_3My last post about D3 wasn’t very complimentary because, to put it simply, the game wasn’t working for shit.

Good news is that Blizzard have sorted out the “Error 37” issue and I’ve finally been able to log some solid game time (much to the detriment of my sex life).

I’ve only been playing the Starter Edition but D3 already has it’s claws in me. Like its predecessors, Diablo III is dark, atmospheric and badass. The art direction on the game is insane, as is the level of detail. It’s still early days for me playing this game, but here’s what I like so far:

In-game physics:

When I first read about the fact that the game has physics I honestly didn’t give a shit. So some stuff falls down super-realistically, awesome. Stop the press.

Having played the game though, I can attest to what an awesome difference this makes to the gameplay. A LOT of shit is destructible – everything from tables to tombstones get wrecked while you’re slaying hell’s minions, who scatter in every direction as you obliterate them.



By taking out support beams, you can bring entire walls crashing down on the bad guys or do the classic unhook-the-chain move to bring chandeliers crashing down on them. Sure, you don’t need them, but they add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the game.


Think of artisans as merchants that you can train. It ain’t cheap, but you can pay artisans to level up and as they do, the weapons, armour and miscellaneous trinkets they can forge become more and more hardcore.

Artisans can “craft” magical weapons for you provided you supply the right crafting materials. You salvage these materials from the magical items you give to artisans. It makes more sense to do this than to just straight up sell the items.

Your artisans travel with you throughout the game, like groupies, so you don’t have to start over with new ones at the beginning of every Act.


Follower banter:

It’s a pretty minor feature of the game, but I thought it was also a nice touch. Unlike the mercenaries in Diablo II, who followed you around everywhere, fought through hell with you, but didn’t utter a damn word, the followers you amass in D3 aren’t shy to engage in some random banter from time to time.

It probably gets a bit irritating eventually, but I thought the way your followers chat with you while you’re missioning around looting and slaying everything in sight was pretty cool.

Classic example – my Monk randomly asks the Templar Knight that’s decided to hang out with him if he has any friends back at the order.

“My fellow Templars are like brothers to me,” replies the Templar, “it is a bond that goes far beyond mere friendship.”

To which my monk fires back with, “So I take it you have no friends then…”



It’s not all good news though. Like I’d said before, if you’re trying to run the game on minimum specs on a Macbook, prepare yourself for some intense running-through-molasses moments when the action picks up.

Also last night the game started bugging out in a big way – rendering blue squares instead of landscape and stuttering so badly that my Monk ended up running over the same patch of ground about 20 times to make it to a checkpoint so I could exit and restart.

Bottom line is I’m hesitant to get the full version until I have a rig that can handle it. I want to be able to crank the graphics up to the max, sit back and enjoy every second of the experience rather than bulldozing through the game in perpetual slow motion because I refuse to play without anti-aliasing, physics and high textures.

The good news I guess is that you won’t have to read any more shit about D3 on the site, fuck yeah!

For now… Winking smile



“Make Good Art” – Neil Gaiman’s Address At Art School Graduation

neilgaimanThought I’d feature another one of the people I look up to here on TFW today because you need to read his stuff if you haven’t already.

The man goes by the name of Neil Gaiman and he’s the guy who wrote The Sandman graphic novel series among other notable works (including Coraline, Stardust and my personal favourite, Good Omens).

Also, after posting Andy Samberg’s graduation speech at Harvard, which is just one huge joke, I felt I had to redeem myself  by posting something you might actually learn something from especially if, like me, you are an aspiring writer or artist.

The rest I’ll leave up to the man himself. This is the first time I’ve ever heard him speak, but he really smacks this one right out of the park, as you can tell by the standing ovation he receives at the end.



What a cool guy. He has an enviable ability to distil things down to their purest, simplest truths and communicate those truths in a way that is so natural it seems almost effortless.

Christ, I need to write more. If I don’t, guaranteed I’m going to end up one of those sad sorry fuckers he talks about.

A shouldawouldacoulda kind of person. The guy at the party with a story so boring people won’t even give him the courtesy of listening to it for the sake of being polite.

Let’s never be that person Winking smile



Primus Back From The Grave, Literally

altthumb.phpI’ve said it before on this site, it’s not a very popular view but I don’t give a rat’s ass, I fucking love Primus.

It’s probably not a very popular view because of two simple reasons: 1) No one knows who they are and b) if they do, they can’t handle how intensely batshit crazy their music is.

Take the best bass guitarist you’ve ever heard in your life and feed him a bucketload of mind-bending drugs and you’ve got Les Claypool, the driving force behind this band and the man slapping the shit out of the bass guitar in the track I’m about to play you.

Though the video for “Lee Van Cleef” just dropped, the new album, Green Naugahyde has been out since September last year.

Check it:



Zombies and the Old West, fuck yeah.

Here’s more, this one’s called “Tragedy’s A’ Comin’”, also off the new album. It has sick dancing, tight jams and the fucking coolest lobster suit I’ve ever seen.



Catchy. I dig how tragedy comes riding in on a horse wearing a spacesuit.

That’s some pretty deep sheeit right there if you stop and think about it.

Are you stopping and thinking about it? Neither am I.

All I’m thinking is DAMN I want that lobster suit.



Brandy. Not Just for Grandad

Fine brandy by designIf I asked you how long you think South Africa has been making brandy for, what would you guess? A hundred years? Two hundred? Two-fiddy?

No. South Africa has been making brandy for no less than three hundred and forty years and nine days.

On the 19th May 1672 the first brandy was made on South African soil by a cook off a Dutch ship called “De Pijl”. The man was nothing short of a visionary and his brandy was of such exceptional quality that it was rumoured that he even accepted patron’s clothing in exchange for a tot of his product.

Which is the PC way of saying his brandy was so off the chizain that people would gladly get NEKKED for a taste.



From there, South Africa went on to become one of the producers of some of the best brandies in the world, I mean think about it. How many other nations can boast winning the “Worldwide Brandy Trophy” at the International Wine And Spirit Awards not once, but 10 times!

Guys, it’s time we started looking at brandy, which has a regrettable reputation for being associated with leery old men and drunken fisticuffs, in a whole new light.

People that think brandy is a “boys only” drink for “old people” that can only be drunk “wiff coke” need to catch a flippin wake up. As I write this, 56% of the people drinking brandy in SA are between the ages of 18 and 34, a figure that is set to skyrocket to about 89% thanks to this blog post alone.



I attended the Fine Brandy By Design stand at the Good Food And Wine Show last week and was suitably impressed by not only the great entertainment that had been arranged (by brother and sister duo Sarah Jane And Angelo Thomas – book these guys if you’re ever doing an event. They did very slick, soulful covers of everything from Foster The People to Rihanna) but also by the brandy cocktail / food pairings that were being served.

This is not your grandad’s brandy. Check it:





The Franklin was my favourite of the cocktails above, so much so that I did an on-camera tasting at the stand, which should be live on their Facebook page either today or tomorrow.

Do I think it’s a better spirit than whisky? Hell no. Wizzo will always be my friend, muse, confidant, psychologist and mid-morning tipple, but brandy makes a nice change and is a lot more affordable than whisky if you want to taste the good stuff.



Kevin Spacey Is A Douche

74177850EA006_Gotham_MagaziWhich is a pity. Because I really used to like Kevin Spacey – he seemed like a really nice, genuine guy. A stand-up dude who would recognise amazing talent the second he saw it.

That’s what motivated me to enter the Jameson First Shot competition at the end of last year. Ol’ Kev was running the competition and it sounded like the break I’ve been waiting for.

It was pretty straightforward; write a seven page script for a short film, send it through and if Kev liked it, he’d let you direct it while he acted in and produced it.

I went all out. I wrote a script that melted fucking FACES, man! EVERYONE who read it was like, “Holy shit dude. You just mind-fucked me so hard my brain is dribbling out my fflleelruirsrhushr!”

But did I hear back from my buddy Kev? No. I did not. So fair enough, I let it slide. I’m sure there are way better writers and way better scripts that were entered, no hard feelings.

Until I saw this. The winning short from SA.



A dentist. Who helps pirates. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight…

Then I saw this interview on my favourite South African show of all time and instantly understood why the flippin “grenaad-mond” who wrote and directed that went for the dentist angle.



Eloquent chap, ain’t he?

What gets me is that part of the brief was to submit something that hints at a bigger story so that if the short does well at the film festivals it plays at, it could get funding to be made into a feature film.

Would you watch a film about a pirate dentist? What’s the bigger story here? Does the dentist end up getting caught up in a swashbuckling pirate adventure after Jack Sparrow swoops in for an emergency root canal treatment?

Level with me here guys, because I’m too close to this to be an impartial judge.

Would you have chosen that script to win?



Andy Samberg’s Speech At Harvard

600full-andy-sambergWhy in God’s name you’d want to book Andy Samberg as the special guest speaker at a Harvard graduation ceremony is totally beyond me, but the results are goddamn priceless!

From hitting on all the hot moms to hitting on all the hot dads (?) to doing awesome impressions, from the minute Samberg gets on stage to the minute he gets off he basically says nothing of any real value, academic of otherwise.

If this is the way the world is heading, I can tell you two things about the future of mankind: 1. We are going to get a LOT dumber and 2. It’s going to be goddamn HILARIOUS!

Enjoy Winking smile



Who knew the man could nail a Nick Cage impression so well?!

Loved every minute of that.

Have a killer weekend party people. Next week Ill try not to be such a lazy ass about posting Winking smile



3 MORE Tips To Make Your Life Too Awesome To Handle

cheesy-smileGreat news guys! I’ve gotten my hands on some more life-changing tips to make your life too awesome to handle!

So grab a pen from the handy craft caddy I showed you how to make the last time I made your life too awesome to handle and let’s take the awesomeness of your life to a whole other level!

And no, I don’t HAVE to end every sentence in this post with an exclamation mark, but enthusiasm is contagious and nothing says “I’m enthusiastic” better than CAPITAL LETTERS, EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION AND ANTI-DEPRESSANTS WASHED DOWN WITH AN ENTIRE BOTTLE OF RED WINE!!!!!

Tip #1:

Use a simple household comb to prove to your friends once and for all that you are homosexual



We’ve all been in this situation. You buy an alluring salmon-coloured, alpaca sweater, you put it on for the first time before heading to a mate’s place to watch the big game and the minute you walk through the door your buddy’s like, “What the fuck dude? Is there something you wanna tell me?”

Well, thanks to this handy tip, you’ll never have to hear that question again! The next time your buddy wants a hand with some home DIY, take a comb along to hold the nails in place while you hammer them at impossibly skew angles into any surface!

Just make sure you practise this one at home first. I’ve already shattered 17 combs getting it right, but trust me, it’s totally worth it when you see the look of realisation on your friend’s faces after you show them this handy tip.

Tip #2:

Roll your cables up in tubes and carry them wherever you go



We’ve all been in that life-threatening situation where an electronic device such as your cell phone or laptop is about to die but you left the cable at home!

Well, if you combine the tip above with a condom and a tube of KY Jelly, you’ll never be without cables ever again!

Just carefully roll up the cables you need, put them in an empty toilet roll as shown, stretch a condom over the toilet roll, smear it with the KY Jelly and gently insert it into the handy storage compartment located beneath your nether regions.

Just be sure to rinse the cables off before you use them. Failing that, if someone asks what that smell is, I usually just blame it on a “rat that’s died under the floorboards”.

Tip #3:

Reuse things like a homeless person



Who knew that a simple Pringles container is the prefect size to store spaghetti in?!

Certainly not the guests that I had around for a party the other night, one of whom opened the container, tipped it upside down thinking chips would come out and poured my spaghetti all over the floor!

“What the fuck bro?!” he chirped, cheekily, “who the fuck keeps pasta in a fucking Pringles tin?!”

“I know right!” I replied. “Genius, isn’t it?”

“Sure is!” he replied staring at the pasta which was now stored not-so-conveniently all over my kitchen floor.

“Don’t worry about picking it up, I know a great trick with a vacuum cleaner and some pantyhose that I can use, I just need to get the cable out,” I said, unbuttoning my jeans.

“I’m fucking leaving,” he said, “you are a sick, sick man.”

And he was right. I am sick. Sick to the power of rad because thanks to my work colleagues relentlessly sending me these handy tips over email, my life (much like my ruptured colon) is too awesome to handle!



Short Story: Dead Ringer

mental1It’s been nearly a year since I last posted a short story on this crazy junkyard site, but that’s not because I ain’t been writin’ ‘em!

The following piece is one of my more recent attempts. It’s based on a writing exercise I did a few weeks back that I think turned out pretty well.

I call it Dead Ringer.

Maria woke in a warm sluggish fog of dreamy half-thoughts. She struggled unsuccessfully to open her anvil-heavy eyelids and take in her surroundings. She felt warm and cosy and could taste the damp, earthy scent of fresh pine.

A languid contentment spread through her as she surfaced from the deepest sleep she’d ever experienced. Her thoughts drifted and changed like smoke-shapes in murky light. Memories of Dr Mormo floated into focus, the acrid smell of his skin, the sound of his baritone whisper in her ear during their lascivious encounters.

“I will save you…”

She sighed sleepily and tried to swallow but her oesophageal muscles rubbed like sandpaper behind her cotton wool tongue.

The rusted iron taste of thirst caught in her throat. She was getting hot. She imagined cracking a window open and drinking the cool night air in, the scent of blooming jasmine floating up to her from the garden she played in as a child.

Those were better days… before the doctors and the smell of iodine, the constricting leather straps, the torture, the humiliation. The icy steel clamps holding her eyes open. The things they made her watch…

Dr Mormo said he would get her out. She remembered the sting of the needle as he slid it into her, the lava hot tetrodotoxin burning through her veins.

“When you wake my love, this will all be over…”

It was getting hotter and a deep-down ache was settling into her muscles. She turned to roll over, but her shoulder grazed against rough-hewn pine boards, the same ones she was lying on, the same ones that surrounded her on all sides.

Her eyes snapped open violently as she started screaming.

The dark came flooding in.



The Tiger Gets Diablo III. Bangs. Head. Against. Wall.

Diablo_III_coverTwelve fucking years man, twelve fucking years! That is a long-ass time to wait for a game sequel to come out – you’d expect the final product to run like clockwork, right?

WRONG MUTHUFUKKAH! On the weekend I got my dirty paws on the “Starter Edition” of D3 just to see if my Macbook can handle it before I fork out R630 rand on this game.

Cause that’s a lotta flippin’ DOUGH y’know? Almost half a tank of petrol right there!

After some issues with the guest pass, I download the game (it’s nearly 8 gigs so prepare yourself for some hardcore bandwidth face-raping) and fired it up, all excited and ready to slay EVEEERRRRRYYYYYYTTTHHHIIIINNNNGGGGGG!

I got a solid 5 – 10mins of playing time, enough to choose a character, storm the gates of New Tristram, decimate about twelve undead rotters and level up to LEVEL 2!



Satisfied that it was up and running I then made the rookie mistake of logging out and carrying on with life, thinking I could just log on again in the evening and get a good couple of hours in before I hit the hay.

Boy was I wrong. Ever heard of Error 3003? How about Error 37? Google either one of those and you’ll find about a bazillion complaints about how difficult it is to actually play Diablo III.

From what I can tell, the game plays a lot better if your machine is a PC, meets the minimum requirements comfortably and is connected to a decent WiFi / fixed line.

If, like me, you are running the game on a Macbook with the bare minimum specs and a 3G line, you might as well just give up now.



I didn’t even get far enough to see how the game actually plays out when you’re getting swarmed by the minions of hell, but from what the forums say it’s buggy and generally doesn’t play well on a Mac so I don’t really have high hopes.

Of course, it didn’t help that the European server was down yesterday evening, that could have been what was causing all the errors but still, what the fuck Blizzard?!

Making us log onto the server just to play the game is total bullshit. I fully understand that it’s the best way to guard against piracy and hacking, but it’s also the best way to alienate, frustrate and generally fuck with everyone who ever loved and played a Diablo game.



You should never have to log onto anything to play a game solo. Blizzard, you need to sort that shit out for two very simple reasons:

1. So that we can all actually PLAY THE GAME.
b. OVERNIGHT the volume of traffic on the servers will drop substantially, thus freeing them up for the guys who DO want to play multiplayer.

Needless to say, I’ll attempt to log on again tonight, and the night after that and the night after that because the 5 – 10 mins I got to play were pretty rad, even if I had to scale the graphics down so far it ended up looking like Diablo 1.

In other news, if anyone wants to hook the Tiger up with a gaming laptop, you will be HANDSOMELY rewarded… (with meatballs).