b3ta.com user Ptolemy
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Profile for Ptolemy:
Profile Info:

Ptolemy a.k.a. Phil McMullen lives in the West of England and apart from growing chickens and vegetables, he writes a bit. Mostly about psychedelic music and improvised experimental music, with the emphasis on the mental part. There's a website about it (www.terrascope.co.uk), and sometimes he organises music festivals, usually on the other side of the world.

Knee-mail me at ptolemy (followed by that funny little sign) terrascope dot co dot uk

I'm also available via Twitter as @PhilMcMullen (which is another of my many cunning pseudonyms...)

I'm a bit proud of the fact that I twice won the Duke of Prunes' "Lunch of the Day" award

December 2005

May 2006

Here's a impression of me vectorised by the brilliant In Vino Veritas:

Recent front page messages:


Best answers to questions:

» Fancy Dress

I once caused a bit of a kerfuffle
at a fancy dress party when I wore little more than an old white sheet drenched in orange food colouring, which I discovered looks a lot more like blood than red food colouring.

My theme? "Period costume".
(Thu 12th Jan 2006, 21:44, More)

» Pure Ignorance

C u n t
I was in an office fixing a printer recently when someone used the "c" word in casual conversation.

"Oh!" said the office matriarch crossly. "I really really don't like that word. It leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth."


"What? WHAT?"
(Fri 7th Jan 2005, 13:33, More)

» Office Christmas Parties

I remember...
... one year we had a new Director arrive shortly before Xmas. I happened to be taking the minutes of a board meeting when he raised the question of what the usual procedure was regarding the forthcoming Office Christmas Lunch.

"Well, usually an advance raiding party leaves at around quarter past 11 and start getting the drinks in, then everyone else leaves at mid-day. Dinner's booked for 1pm"

"And what time does it all wind up?"

"Oh, usually at around 4"

"Very good... well, make it known that I don't expect people to come back to work then unless they want to, and certainly not if they're intoxicated"



"Sir, I think you misunderstand. We're talking a.m. not p.m."
(Thu 16th Dec 2004, 21:36, More)

» Premonitions

Snuffit Stakes
Dunno if anyone else does this, but up until a while ago we used to run "Snuffit Stakes" each year at work. The idea was that at the start of the year you'd each predict the deaths of 3 people famous enough to get an obituary in a national newspaper, write their names on scraps of paper and pay 3 quid (ie £1 a go) into a kitty. If any of the nominated names died in the following 12 months, whoever predicted it correctly would get a pay-out.

Obviously if it was someone old and in the way who could be reasonably expected to peg out at any minute, the Queen Mother for example (although infuriatingly she went on and on till way after we'd stopped doing it), loads of people would vote for them and each share the proceeds.

The trick therefore was to nominate someone completely unexpected to die, and with luck rake in the entire pot (which stood at over £300) all for yourself.

I don't know if this is why we stopped doing it, but I do remember the same girl accurately and somewhat spookily predicted the deaths of Princess Di, Jan Dildo (the newsreader who was shot dead on her doorstep) and Douglas Adams (the Hitchhiker's Guide author). The odds against it must've been astronomical.

Maybe she had them bumped off so that she'd win our office sweepstake? Who knows....
(Fri 19th Nov 2004, 20:23, More)

» Turning into your parents

I am not so quietly proud of the fact
that despite being in my 50s and with children myself who are older than half the b3tans I speak to on a regular basis, I still get told by them to "turn the bloody music down, we're trying to watch TV up here" on a regular basis

(and for the record we're talking mostly post-rock, psych, experimental noise and stoner rock, and not stuff I'm allegedly supposed to be listening to as a parent going on grandparent....)
(Thu 30th Apr 2009, 20:15, More)
[read all their answers]