Saturday, 17 January 2015

I Have My Very Own Arch Enemy

Shivering on a cold Saturday. I love the winter but sometimes even I find the really bitter cold a little too much.

My Friday was a disaster from noon to night. Not a single person wanted to beta test my new Windows software (recommended retail price $25). Cartoonists mustn't read this blog or perhaps cartoonists only ever read my 'Guide to Unblocking a Rotring' and, once their pens are fixed, they don't come back. Such a shame. I tidied the application's interface yesterday, adding a few little switches, fixed a few tiny bugs. Today I was going to make it available for download. I think I'll wait a little longer.

Traffic is at an all time low and emails coming into the blog have dried up apart from SPAM which is worse than ever. 22 emails waiting for me this morning. 22 new ways to 'improve kidney function', cheap medicines, and Chinese handbags.

So many single hits on the site it's depressing. I find myself living for the moments when a visitor reads 30 or 40 pages. The only solace I have is the number of times that happens from somebody reading at a university. I used to have a regular reader from London University, which was always a point of pride. The other day somebody from Manchester University seemed to enjoy the site. Call it intellectual snobbery or simple delight in finding a reader (and one not so far away) but I felt like I'd connected with a real human being. I find that's such a rare thing these days.

Speaking of connecting with somebody: yesterday I also saw my favourite checkout girl at Tesco. I say she's my favourite but it's a rare kind of favouritism based on total enmity. Do you ever meet a person and know they're you're natural enemy? Simply saying hello creates an immediate friction and you know that you've just met your exact opposite. They're the anti-matter to your matter and certain to cause the explosion of the universe should you ever touch. I'd like to think she's the Moriarty to my Holmes but it might well be that I'm the guy in black and she smokes a pipe. Every time I use her till, I'm aware of this great hatred that exists between us. She very clearly hates me and I dislike her intensely. She's a funny shade of orange and extremely talkative. I make jokes and she'll look back at me with dead eyes and say 'sorry... I don't get it'. She says things like 'you look fed up' but not in a concerned way. More like a challenge. If I say 'black', she'll says 'white'. She has strange half-closed eyes, as though she's doped up on something. 'Ya what?' she'll say. 'Nothing,' I reply, grimly packing my bag. 'Can't hear you,' she replies. 'You want to speak up.' That only makes me grumble deeper into my rucksack.

She seems to embody 90% of the world. If the rest of the world is like the girl at the Tesco checkout, then no wonder I'm having trouble. No wonder the world is in trouble.

I continually feel at odds with the internet and the world. Yesterday I learned of the existence of a website called TubeCrush. (, I'm not giving them the Google kudos by actually linking.) Even if it's legal, I'm pretty damn sure it's not moral. Had I launched a website where you could post pictures of attractive women you've covertly photographed on the Tube, there'd be a national scandal. I'd be a public enemy, hounded on Twitter, and given the Evan Davis thumbscrews on Newsnight. The fact the website is for women to post their photographs of men means it's not a talking point. The media don't seem that interested in taking it down. It's just 'a good laugh'. I just don't understand the world.

I also suspect I've gone on Google's bad books but it's hard to tell why. Sometimes you do things to promote your blog which Google likes. Sometimes you do things they hate. I added some new Ping services to inform various websites when I update my blog. I wonder if I'm now pinging too much and the dip in traffic is related.

Lots of reasons for feeling uninspired today. Last night I lost the best cartoon I'd ever drawn and it felt like a boot into a sensitive region. I've always suspected that Artflow couldn't really handle multi-layer 4k canvases but I thought problems would be more evident as I went along. Today I intend to redraw the cartoon, simply so it won't beat me. If I paint it, I'll paint it on the PC.

I also took the rare step of replying to a web marketer who wrote to me asking if they could write content for my blog. I wrote a long Stan-like email and told them they can have the site for a year if they give me enough money to buy a Surface Pro. I did it as a joke but it got me wondering how much this site is worth. tells me that this website is work $6,748. Not sure how the hell they calculate that or how I could actually turn it into that kind of money. Anybody out there want to buy this blog for $6, 748?

I see websites on sale for crazy amounts of money that don't have any content or their content is no more enlightening that a picture of some Japanese guy wearing diapers. I know I would sell up if I could. I like the Spine name but it's never been a name I've particularly loved. I once owned the domain name but I had no use for it. I now see it's on sale for $2000. Some domain speculator has clearly picked it up. Wish I'd kept it. I've always been more penguin than bone. Maybe I should just sell the website and start again as a Japanese guy in diapers. Perhaps the world would then come rushing my way to take pictures and post them on Tubecrush.


  1. […] The Spine has found his nemesis – on the […]

  2. Furor Teutonicus18 January 2015 at 02:49

    XX The fact the website is for women to post their photographs of men means it’s not a talking point. The media don’t seem that interested in taking it down. It’s just ‘a good laugh’.XX

    Like women only gyms.

    You try and open a men only gym, your ass will not touch as they drag you through the courts!

  3. That's so very true. The whole thing is so very Orwellian. The very people who want equality are the very people who end up imposing their own draconian order.

  4. Well, You sound like you have the same issues as me. Well perhaps not all issues but you know what I mean.

    The world changes, sometimes even for the better, but it's no longer a world I really understand. Being an older white male can be restrictive. I tend to steer clear of kids and maintain a safe restraint with females in general. There was that "finding" in the press recently that older guys tend to keep to themselves and don't really go out much. Is that our future?

    I've given up trying to understand why my own blog hits can be in single figures one day and in the hundreds the next. It's not even that I've been writing that much since work has been a pressure for the last few months. I hope to restar properly in the middle of Feb.

    I may also even freshen up the look of my blog and organise historical posts. The excitement of it, or perhaps not.

    Not to worry though.

  5. I think people tend to say the world changes but I think it's about surfaces. We look around us and assume that the world out there is different to what we know. New Year is a perfect example. We don't go out on New Year. We sit playing computer games or watching films and assume we're the only people doing that. Yet a recent poll suggested that most people don't go out. Most people are nothing like those people on TV hanging from lampposts. We're the silent majority. And I think that's true of most things. Most people probably think what rational people think. The media, however, have no interest in rational people. It's like The Guardian. Who wants to read sensible articles which are reasonably argued with a little humour thrown in? They can read Suzanne Moore who irritates and stirs things up by expressing her profound stupidity on most things. The same is true of any subject you could care to mention. Most people (I think) have a good idea of where justice lies and where common sense should prevail. However, the media tread a line between sensationalism and fear of causing upset among the various special interest groups who leap on every poorly phrased opinion as though their world was about to come tumbling down. As I've written before, you can't expressed a nuanced opinion these days for fear of upsetting people who see everything in terms of black and white.

    As for web traffic: I've given up ever getting decent traffic. I write and draw the very best blog I can, like I've only ever written the best books I can. People probably perceive it differently and I can't change that. Just some days, as you'll know, it gets very lonely shouting into the void, which is why I'm so glad to have heard your voice shouting back from the other side. ;)

  6. "...cartoonists only ever read my ‘Guide to Unblocking a Rotring’ and, once their pens are fixed, they don’t come back."

    Whoever does not find your wry humour a true delight isn't worth getting upset about. Keep plugging away at life; I would hate to be Spine-less.

  7. Dear Mr Waywell

    " ... or perhaps cartoonists only ever read my ‘Guide to Unblocking a Rotring’ and, once their pens are fixed, they don’t come back."

    Can you provide a link to your guide? Please.

    Hi RR, sorry I couldn't make it to your curry lunch this weekend.


  8. Certainly DP. It's here. There are also some good suggestions in the comments below. Main point: never remove the nib! ;)

  9. ;) Thank you. I love writing blogs and doing all these things. It's just real life that intrudes and I need to make money from one of these projects or I'll have to give myself up to becoming a wage mule, grinding away in the commuter's wheel. If only I'd managed to get my second book of letters published, my problems would have been sorted! :(

  10. Oooh, a book of letters eh? And what sort of letters are they then? Much like the ones I am typing out now, but more interestingly arranged, or are they ones you have developed yourself, like the Georgians have (that's "Georgians" as in the people of the country, not the time period, or the state... though it is a state, but not in the 'States. erm... is that clear?)?

    DP: never mind. Another time, another drain.