Sniper One

Read Sniper One by Dan Mills yesterday.

After finishing Columbine yesterday I’d no intention of starting another book the same day. While browsing through Amazon this one came up in one of those “People who liked this liked these” selections. I thought I’d read the first page or two just to get a flavour of the book.

This genre is not one I seek out. I recall reading an Andy McNab book many years ago set in the Gulf War (I think) and although I admire anyone who puts themselves in harm’s way the style of writing and the subject didn’t feel compelling.


This book though .. wow. Apart from cooking the dog’s tea and taking them for a walk I didn’t stop reading. Armageddon (the film) was on last night and I love that film but the book took precedence.

Their heroic stand created a modern-day Rorke’s Drift.

An excellent read.


Completed Columbine by Dave Cullen today.
I knew the basics, I recall seeing the cafeteria footage at some point so being able to read an acclaimed book that gave a complete picture was interesting.


What shocked me the most was the way the churches swooped in after the event in what they obviously saw as a major recruitment drive. I knew that scientologist cult members did this but to read about others doing it was horrific.

It was also wrong wrong wrong for the church to continue to ply lies about one of the shot. They know for an absolute fact that what they proclaim is wrong yet they continue to spout it.

But hey, that’s christianity for you.

If you do want to know more about the whole Columbine event, read this book.

In Order to Live

Today I read In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.

Didn’t plan to read the whole thing but TV was crap, couldn’t be bothered with housework.


I did not expect huge amounts of detail about the North Korean regime, after all, how can a child pick up the detail that an adult would. But the indoctrination she went through becomes clear in the last few chapters of the book.

Yeonmi has a remarkable tale to tell though. A worthy read.

give it a name

Yesterday I finished I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke.

Been a fan of his since the eighties and it was one of those books where I couldn’t help but read it – in my mind – with his voice. It brought back many memories of places, bands and foods (Chesswell Mushrooms anyone?). It is really well written, amusing, entertaining and informative – who would have guessed that Bernard Manning is a significant figure in his fledgling career. The writing and vocabulary is extraordinary.


If you at all a fan of Dr JCC, or want a good glimpse into the birth of punk and the London / Manchester scenes then I highly recommend it. Great book.

Too much me

Realised middle of last year that there was too much of me and that diet and exercise levels needed to change. The way my mind works is that I ignore this for a while before chucking the issue to the back of my mind.
Over weeks the thoughts about what needs to be done pop up, I ponder them and then chuck them back where they came from.

I knew I needed to lose weight
I knew I needed to get fitter
I knew what I needed to do

The thoughts kept coming back and I kept ignoring them. This process takes time.
I would never make the conscious decision to change. I’ve tried that approach in the past for various issues and it dooms me to failure every single time.
I had to wait for the day – and it would certainly arrive – where I got up and change just happened.

And it did.

My diet changed both in what I eat and what I drink despite the fact that the unhealthy stuff is still in the kitchen/freezer
My activity level increased.
Neither of these are huge jumps, just incremental changes and it will work. Always has before.

Today – several days after the change – an exercise bike I ordered eons ago arrived. So that, plus the rowing machine (been unable to use that due to a back issue which is improving), plus taking Zelda on longer walks around the village will get my activity up. Combined with better food weight loss will happen and all should be good. Eventually.

I do like this as a mantra:

Skinny feels

Good covid observation

In Clarkson’s Saturday column in The Sun:

HERE’S a cheery observation from my doctor.

“The problem is that in the first lockdown, when we didn’t know how to treat the virus, people came into hospital and died quite quickly. Now that we know how to treat the virus quite well, people come into hospital and stay there for weeks.”

That’s why there’s such a shortage of beds then. Too many people aren’t dying.


There are certain ways the English language is used that annoy me.

People saying betta instead of better. Saying gunna instead of going to. There are more but So is right at the top of the list.

I first became aware of ‘So’ being used to start both verbal and written communication soon after I joined Automattic. One of the US employees used ‘So’ quite a bit and it was amusing.

As I used Reddit and other US sites it cropped up more and more:
“So I work in a lively bar”
“So I was in the automotive shop”
“So it was Tuesday”
I instantly pictured the author as a yank.
The word ‘So’ in all the above in 100% superfluous. It is useless. It is simply noise that adds zero to the content in any way at all.

Listening to Radio 5 recently I noticed that brits calling in were using it. Annoying. And then this morning Adrian Chiles is interviewing someone who does Covid surveys. I imagine that she is well qualified. And she started just about every response from Adrian with “So”. Even Adrian upped his ‘So’ utterances.

I’m not about using the Queen’s English and everyone sounding like they came from 19040’s Home Counties, and I love accents and dialects. But FFS, the use of ‘So’ as the start word really should stop.