b3ta.com user flying_pasty
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I live in Birmingham, and am a local council/parliamentary candidate for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. After all, somebody has to be, and we get to wear better hats than the other lot.

Click for the site what I run.

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Best answers to questions:

» On the stage

Under Milk Wood
I'm happy to stand on a stage and sing and play instruments, but I'm no actor. With stage production my role has always been either down in the orchestra pit (I used to do a lot of conducting) or doing sound/sound effects.

In my sixth form year I did sound effects for a production of Under Milk Wood, and because some of the effects needed to overlap, I'd created a tape on a 4-track recorder, using different channels for different sounds. My copy of the play was annotated with which sound went where, and what the tape counter should read at that point. The 4-track was hooked up to the PA system, and I was sat up in the organ loft with it to cue up the effects when required. Fine.

Or it would have been, had I not confused the slider for track 2 with the slider for track 3. If you don't know the play, there's a nice wistful few minutes in which Captain Cat is describing the start of the morning in Llareggub. When we got to the bit after he greets Polly Garter there's a stage direction for a cock crow:


That's Polly Garter. [ Softly ] Hullo, Polly, my love. [...]

[ A cock crows ]


Too late, cock, too late.

The sound of the cock crowing, on first night, was, unfortunately, absent... in its place were several seconds' silence, me swearing audibly, and a loud blast of pre-recorded organ music. And an audience in hysterics. To this day I'm still proud of that.
(Fri 2nd Dec 2005, 15:40, More)

» Worst Record Ever

"Songs for Swinging Voters"
A Conservative Party 7" flexidisc release, with such rousing songs as "John Citizen" and "Four Jolly Labourmen" - I'm not sure which election it was released for, but by the Swingle Singers-style harmony singing on some of it, it must be late 60s, early 70s. I paid 20p for it in a charity shop.

It redefines "excruciating". Crap cocktail-style jazz, fake "working clarse" accents, and "Vote Conservative" tattooed on its ugly hide. There is no worse record than this. I inflict it on all my friends when they least expect it.
(Wed 3rd Dec 2003, 9:50, More)

» Weird Traditions

Land Rovers
Not exactly something I've been made to do, but have ended up doing because it's a "tradition"... If you ever buy a proper Land Rover (not one of those posh car things, but the proper agricultural version) be aware that pretty much every other Landy driver will either wave at you or flash their headlights at you as they pass on the other side of the road. I think it's because we all sympathise with the fact that we all drive something built on 1940s technology which periodically falls to bits, and all have huge puddles of oil on our drives...

It's quite funny though, there are people who I've been waving to (and who have been waving at me) pretty much every day for the last 12 months, and I know I'll never, ever, meet them :-)

Length, girth, height, fuel consumption, clouds of smoke etc.
(Fri 29th Jul 2005, 14:57, More)

» Inventions You're Too Lazy To Make

Postal Service
When I was at university I and a couple of mates had a great idea for a multi-purpose video recorder that would act as video machine, toaster, and post box, all in one. Although of course, if you used it to post a letter while it was in toaster mode it would have incinerated your post.
(Thu 8th Apr 2004, 14:22, More)

» Claims to Fame

I once played guitar
with The Fall. But I like to think that's not a crap claim to fame :-)
(Tue 1st Mar 2005, 16:36, More)
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