Monday, August 31, 2009


I can take a lot but sometimes things can just get a bit much.

Treatment for the Clones collaboration; rewrite of Tec, the TV pilot; story ideas for Traitor the TV-related project; shooting of the scenes from Monsters (even though the majority of the work is being dealt with by people other than me); and all this simultaneous with things getting "interesting" in the day job (they're asking for overtime); the Teacher going back to school; the Boy going back to school; the Daughter redecorating her room and looking for work; the dog being a pain; constantly regenerating housework.

But you know what the real killer is? Unfinished tasks. Every time you have an unfinished task it hangs up in your head, it lurks there going "I'm not finished, you need to finish me now, and I'm going to sit here nagging until you do it." You might not hear it, but it's there all the same.

And it can get to such a state that you just don't know where to start = overwhelm.

Friday I go to the overwhelm stage. And Saturday was a bit hellish. I turned into Mr Nasty - the Teacher would no doubt say I'd been that way for a while, but it was Saturday when I noticed it. I resolved that something should be done.

Sunday we went to Anglesey and spent several hours on a wind-swept beach with a few other hardy souls (ah, the English summer). We flew stunt kites, walked, talked, paddled, explored, allowed the dog to run off his pent-up energy. Getting some distance between you and the overwhelm is always useful for settling the mind.

Today we worked around the house. Tidying, finishing those unfinished tasks (like replacing two main light bulbs that blew months ago). There's still all those other jobs to be done but the overwhelm is gone.

One decision that had to be made, and gone over with the Teacher, is that I'll have to move my writing to the office - rather than the more sociable location of the dining room. Turns out that I just can't concentrate with the to-ing and fro-ing of the downstairs area.

So this was good.

On a positive note, I have been going into more detail on Tec and really sorting it out: More character work, more plot work, really fixing-up the behaviour and actions of the "bad guys" so it all makes sense and can be tracked back by the detective.

And having finished going through all the existing episodes of the Traitor project, I have managed to collect together a fair number of ideas that should turn into reasonable stories that I can pitch.

This coming week is looking busy: Apart from doing 1.5 hours extra per day in the day job (I do get paid extra), I have a meeting on Thursday evening with the Director and DoP, probably have to go direct from Sheffield to the meeting location in South Manchester. Then on Saturday we're doing the auditions for the school kids. Without the right girl the first scene could be appalling - which would not be good.

Probably won't get any actual script written this week ... but I just have to accept it and continue all the preparatory stuff until I get to the point that I can start writing.

What's on the turntable? "Human behaviour" by Bjork from "Debut" courtesy of Spotify.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Working as a contract web developer is like being a writer - you're only as good as your last job.

I've never believed that security comes from outside - the only security you have is what you make for yourself which means, in my case, doing the best job I possibly can, otherwise I stand a good chance of not getting a new contract.

As a not-as-yet produced screenwriter I'm safe from criticism, the scripts look fine on paper. But come September we'll be shooting selected scenes from Monsters. And we'll see how secure I look then.

What's on the turntable? "The Wanting comes in Waves" by The Decemberists from "The Hazards of Love" (courtesy of Spotify).

I discovered
The Decemberists while working for Clash Magazine last year, they are superb storytellers, like this from the "Abduction of Margaret":

And all the while whispering arbors provide cover
That previous witnessed ardor of our lovers
Our heroine here falls prey to her abductor
All a-gallop with Margaret slung rude cross withers
Having clamped her innocent fingers in fetters.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nothing to do with writing...

Generally speaking I am not an openly political person, I have my opinions but I keep them to myself since political arguments are seldom fruitful. However there are things that move me, and this is one of them.

The multinational pharmaceutical companies want to take control of vitamins and other supplements, and I think that is a very bad thing.

(Part of their argument is that food supplements should be under control because they are "dangerous if uncontrolled" - completely ignoring the fact that tens of thousands of people die each year from their medical drugs, while it's virtually impossible to kill yourself with vitamins no matter how many you have - the worst you'll get is diarrhoea, unless you can find a Polar Bear liver.)

Come December of this year they will get their wish in the UK unless sufficient noise is made.

Anyway, if you agree that they shouldn't control and manufacture vitamins and the rest, and you're a British citizen, you can sign a petition here's the content of the email I received on the matter:

Codex Alimentairus is a law designed to hand over the control of natural remedies to the pharmaceutical giants. One more attempt to regulate us - with potentially dire consequences. Unless we take this last opportunity and act now we will not be able to buy vitamins or health/nutritional supplements without a doctor's prescription - they will be banned from 31st December 2009.

You may think this can't happen, you may think why haven't I heard about this before. The reason is that there are vested interests, giant multinational pharmaceutical companies, and its not in their interest that you know about and oppose this. They and our lawmakers in Europe are banking on public apathy. Despite considerable pressure already exerted our government is still planning to implement this law - UNLESS THERE IS MASSIVE OPPOSITION IT WILL GO AHEAD.

Like many health and safety matters this was started with good intentions, in 1962 by the United Nations, to establish international free trade foods but has become a major threat to our civil liberties and freedom of choice.


Please, sign the petition to the Prime Minister. It takes 10 seconds! This is for our health, and well-being and the health and well-being of our children. Please click on this link below ... If you do not live in the UK but have friends and family there, please forward to them and also to everyone you know so that they, too, can forward to their friends and family.

For more information Google "opposition to codex alimentarius" or look on facebook and you'll see that the threat is very real and opposition is from people from all walks of life, in many countries.
The petition deadline is 5th September there are already over 36,000 signatories.

If you don't agree just pass by, I won't enter into any discourse on the subject. You won't convince me and I won't convince you.

Normal service will be resumed presently.

What's on the turntable? Hm, should be "Incantations, Part 1" by Mike Oldfield - but the sound isn't working...

Square eyes

I've been watching TV. A lot of TV. In the last week about 40 hours of the series with the characters I'm supposed to be pitching stories for. I could only fit it in by watching at 1.4X.

The Teacher was not impressed. When I told her I'd finished she made some comment about getting her husband back - perhaps that wasn't a good moment to mention there was still another season to go. It should arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.

Still, the show was reasonable, though I think I would have gone insane with the tedium of 1970s pacing if I'd had to continue watching at normal speed. Honestly, the pacing seemed so right at 1.4X, occasionally I had to check I wasn't on normal.

I'm beginning to get some stirrings of ideas for the pitches, which is good.

In other news

The Daughter has been offered representation by the agency that contacted her through Spotlight - subject to meeting up this week. It's a London-based agency but about 50% of their clients are from the Manchester area. I would be suspicious (no, I am suspicious) but looks like a reasonable company, not too big, their clients seem to be working quite regularly - a good sign - and no mention of any fees so far (as there certainly shouldn't be).

Only a couple of weeks before the Boy heads down to London to film the CBBC Bamzooki show - exciting.

What's on the turntable? "School" by Supertramp from "Crime of the Century"

Friday, August 21, 2009

In the spotlight

I've been doing some character work on Tec along with planning crimes and clues as I think somebody mentioned in their blog recently (I can't find the reference), it's not the easiest thing in the world.

But no actual writing yesterday - it was the Boy's 12th birthday so we had birthday things to do.

Plus the Daughter got her A Level results - A in English, B in Biology and C in Chemistry - which is enough to get into Nottingham for the course she wants, after her year out. Meanwhile she got a call from Spotlight because an agency have got in touch, so she'll be sending them her CV today.

All in all, a good day.

What's on the turntable? "Every day" by Steve Hackett from "Spectral Mornings" (courtesy of

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Speed reading

I have about 50 hours of TV to watch for the Traitor pitches - which is a lot of TV when I have other really urgent things to do. Last night, by accident I discovered a feature of my laptop's DVD player which is really handy: 1.4X fast forward. It plays at 1.4 times normal speed and still gives you sound (in fact the 2X fast forward does sound but that's not quite watchable).

Skipping credits it means I can get through episodes at just slightly less than double speed. This is very useful.

What's on the turntable? "Mother Russia" by Renaissance from "Turn of the Cards"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Damn coincidence

So the family went to see G.I. Joe today, we knew what to expect - the reviews had been along the vein of "better than you might expect". And yes, I think "better than you might expect" definitely covers it. It's not a brilliant film - though the special effects (especially the chase through Paris) are excellent. The acting is variable but then so is the characterisation delivered by the script.

It's fun.

Except I was very upset by one fairly important thing: there is something, and a very important something, in G.I. Joe that is exactly the same as in my Running script. I can see the writers of that film going through exactly the same thought processes I did and coming up with exactly the same answer. (Though they certainly did it a couple of years before me.)


What's on the turntable? "London" by Gordon Giltrap from "Visionary"

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Where were we?

Preparing to shoot a number of scenes from Monsters. We have a director and a producer, we have a lead actress, we have a DoP (hopefully), but no cast not until today. (Note, in the following I use the word "actor" in its non-gender-specific meaning.)

It was difficult to know what to do with Monsters - it's a good pilot script for a series that no one will want to make (particularly under current economic conditions) because it would be very expensive.

We had originally thought about doing a trailer. I read the director's description of how the trailer ought to run and I got excited about seeing it. There was only one problem: it would cost almost as much to make the trailer as make the entire episode because we'd have to cast a lot of people, and find and shoot at all the locations. It was a no-go.

Second idea: Extract a few scenes that express the content and the feel of the show and shoot those. The scenes chosen could all be filmed in one location (a school) with a smaller cast (and a schoolroom of extras). And probably done in a single day.

So the Producer sent out the casting calls, weeded out the obvious non-runners, the remaining list went to the director who selected about three actors per character and we invited them to audition. Arguably we made our first mistake there, should have had more: because 50% of the actors we invited did not confirm - and for one part, the Detective Sergeant, we had only a single actor confirmed to audition.

Today was the day and we headed off to Canal Street in Manchester. Yes, this Canal Street. The Taurus Restaurant has a room downstairs well known for hosting rehearsals and auditions - or so I discovered from one of the actors who attended. That's confusing. We were in the room downstairs, and one of the actors told me he'd been there before and then explained.

So, while the producer remained upstairs fending off unwelcome advances (at one point my daughter had to rescue her - from a persistent, fairly stupid, male) and welcoming the incoming actors, I, the director and the Daughter, went through the auditions.

I expected to have a fairly boring time of it (being just the writer) but, of course, I hadn't thought it through. Each scene has a fair number of characters, so the Daughter (who is playing the lead, Chloe) and I were kept very busy reading all the other characters, I found myself talking to myself on a couple of occasions.

So the day proceeded and we hit the next problem. One of the main characters in the story actually has only five words in the extracted scenes. It's a bit hard to audition someone on five words. We realised that we should have included a scene with a bit more meat for that character at least for the audition.

We took the tack of asking the actors what they gleaned about the character and the setting from the limited pages we'd sent. This was especially gratifying for me and I was pleased that most of them had got a good impression of the bleakness of the world I'd created, and managed to grasp the characters - apart from the one with only 5 words.

Luckily for us the one actor who had confirmed for the "D.S." (as mentioned above) was perfect. Phew. In fact there was only one situation where we had the slightest doubt as to which actor was better for a role - even then it took only a little discussion. Of course the final decision is partly down to availability and partly down to the director reviewing the tapes. But I have to say the overall quality was very good indeed.

As mentioned the Daughter, apart from being lead, is also Production Designer and has her very own team. She's already had them working hard and they're all keen to help, which is great. One of them is doing media studies and wants to do a behind-the-scenes documentary - for her course, naturally. This is quite amusing.

Other writing stuff

Did you see the free-running on the TV this evening (or even go to see it live in Trafalgar Square?) interesting stuff. My Parkour/Free-running script, Running, was requested for reading by the company on Inktip. So that's in progress.

I have the main idea for the first of my pitches for the TV-related thing I can't really talk about. Roughly the requirement is for audio-plays related to characters from the series - the first was the easiest as the character in question had something solid I could hook into. I need to put together a couple more, at least one story for each of the others, but these will be trickier as there's less to hook into. (I also have hours and hours of DVDs to watch as research - pity I can't watch TV while driving.) I need a code word for this project ... let's call it Traitor.

The Clones collaboration moves along, I got my bits done for the funding submission, but now I have to knock together a treatment for the first episode - in the next week. It's an arbitrary deadline but without a deadline, the whole thing would just drift.

Then there's Tec, the great solution to my problems that I thought of last week isn't going to fly. But I have another solution that solves the problem with less radical changes.

In other news

The family got back from Edinburgh last night, and they'd had a fantastic time. They all want to go again next year. The dog was grateful to be brought out of kennels, but needs to go through a period of re-training to remind him where he belongs in the pack structure (the bottom). And the cats once again hate us, they enjoyed a week of no dog.

Oh yes, and my current (day job) client has offered to extend my contract until the end of January. Which is nice.

What's on the turntable? "Morbio Gorge" by Gordon Giltrap from "Perilous Journey"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SF again

Back here I got some comments on my diatribe which I didn't notice or comment on - Hi Jon & Paul.

Thing is, for me, the reasons stated in the comments as to why these things might not be regarded as SF are exactly the point.

To me SF and Fantasy are vehicles for highlighting the important issues because otherwise they are nothing. The Day the Earth Stood Still is a commentary on Cold War paranoia without the creators being attacked for being anti-American; the kids film Explorers covers similar themes ("We don't kill aliens because we haven't met any yet"); Torchwood: Children of Earth is a direct criticism of government, and blindly following orders. Bladerunner is about the consequences of Man playing god.

Social comment and Character.

The pulp magazine Astounding Science Fiction was created, all those years ago, specifically to get away from SF being about robots and space battles, to make it about character.

SF, like Fantasy, is a setting not a genre.

What's on the turntable? "Can you hear me?" by Renaissance from "Novella"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alone again

Dropped the Teacher, Daughter and the Boy at the station early this morning and received text reports of their progress to Edinburgh: changing at York, arriving at the hotel and being told I'll get a call when they've seen the last show this evening.

Nothing yet.

Spent yesterday hacking my way through the undergrowth of the Running feature. It really isn't as polished as I'd like but when an opportunity like this pops up you have to take what you can get. I paid my money and zapped it up onto Inktip and received my "preferred subscriber" newsletter that lists the names of the companies along with what they are after - including the company wanting the free-running/Parkour script. Which, it turns out, is a British company - almost irritating considering I spent time adjusting the script to US spellings.

On the other hand there are definite advantages - so we shall see what comes of that.

I received some DVDs through the post which are part of my research for one of the projects I can't talk about - the opportunity to pitch ideas for a TV related thing. So I watched some of that while digesting dinner.

Because of the Running emergency I didn't get the work done on the documents needed for a funding application for the Clones collaboration. But I'm on that this evening.

It's very quiet here.

But then that was part of the point of them going without me.

What's on the turntable? "Quest" by Gordon Giltrap from "Perilous Journey"

Aha - I have been rung, they went to the Edinburgh Dungeon (free entry with the train tickets), walked around the city a bit and then went to a family-friendly stand-up session at a Comedy Club and were sitting on the front row. Apparently it was very good. [sigh]

Sunday, August 09, 2009


I stubbed my toe!

I'm lying.

Writers, eh? Professional liars.

I have done a selection of posts about the Inktip website, which is highly respected and quite successful in getting scripts to producers. I used their free offer to post Monsters just to see what would happen.

I get their free newsletter every Friday but only got around to reading the recent issue this morning. And then I screamed.

They have a company that is specifically requesting a Parkour/free running script like Banlieue 13. That is precisely what my feature Running is, but it's not ready.

What to do ... what to do?

I've been reading Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! and, much as I like his style and most of his general ideas, it has to be said I am not a fan of any technique that prescribes plot structure to the very minute (page number) which he does with his beat sheet. Verily, with a 110 minute script he specifies his beats to the minute.

Then again he sold a lot of scripts, some were even made.

I had decided, as an experiment, I would rebuild Running to fit his beat sheet - it's all very well me saying "I don't like (in principle) techniques that are that prescriptive" but I've had nothing produced. So it's worth me experimenting just to see how things come out in the wash, it's not going to do any harm.

And that's what I was going to do - but now I have no time. Especially with everything else going on.

Lacking any decisive thought: I scream instead.

What's on the turntable? "5 Years" by Bjork from "Homogenic"

Friday, August 07, 2009


There I was this evening doing research, some people call it watching TV. Hard work either way. And there was a re-run of a Pie in the Sky episode and I was thinking about the feedback I'd had on Tec. The thing about Pie in the Sky is that, although the protagonist has an official police position, he's effectively no longer in the Force but does the odd (in all definitions) jobs that no one else wants to do.

As mentioned in the last post the biggest problem with Tec is that, as a private investigator (well, a PI's PA really), the protagonist is not really in a position to investigate important crimes, like murder. But it's necessary to make a show that's half decent.

And then it came to me. The solution.

It'll involve a page 1 re-write, the main characters remain pretty much intact and so does the crime but the protagonist's situation changes fairly dramatically. It'll work. It's good.

Trouble is that it's all happening at once.

I just received some necessary documents and instructions in regard to pitching for some audio story work for an existing TV property - I have until the end of September to come up with some story ideas. I'll have to do a ton of research, and the parameters on length and number of cast are quite restrictive, but I realised that this situation is perfect for using the 36 Dramatic Situations to pull out some unusual conflicts.

I have a meeting on the morrow with my Clones collaborator hopefully we'll move that along a bit. We've narrowed down the audition applications for Monsters and will be holding the auditions next weekend? (When I say "we" I mean the producer and director - they ran them past me for comment.)

As you may have heard Blake Snyder died unexpectedly a few days ago. Curiously I'd never read his book Save the Cat! though he does come under the heading of someone who's written and sold scripts in Hollywood so probably has something worthwhile to say. I've just finished going through Running but wasn't 100% sure where to go from there - my attention has been a bit dispersed - I thought what better test of the book than to see if it can help. So I bought it.

I'm just 10 pages in and I definitely learned one thing - the Save the Cat! thing - good.

The family sans moi is off to Edinburgh on Monday. I dunno, how many families have almost 12-year-old boys that come into the house singing "A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox"? Must be doing something right. The good thing about them going off, and the dog going into kennels (I'll be out for 11 hours each day) is that I'll have to time for writing.


What's on the turntable? "Hello" by Evanescence from "Fallen" - if you like Evanescence you should try Lacuna Coil

Thursday, August 06, 2009


I sat down this lunchtime and worked my way through the notes on Tec provided by my readers, comparing notes - as it were.

One reason for using more than one reader is that they have different emphasis - which makes the times that they agree even more important; and when they disagree you have to be get even more analytical.

For example, the opening of Tec introduces the characters where the crime will take place, followed by the introduction of the protagonist - one reader liked it and other reader didn't. While I am not, as I've said, precious about the work I do have a clear idea as to how the story should go and a clear visualisation of the opening. So it will stay.

But the reader who liked the opening felt the future-crime-scene characters were not defined clearly enough, nor were the stakes high enough - which had bad effects later on. So, in reality, both readers were probably saying the same thing, just in a different way.

On the other hand, both pointed out the difficulty of having private investigators involved in the investigation of murders - however, as long as I can think of a reasonable justification, that doesn't have to be a major issue. One reader mentioned the TV series Vincent which did just that - now I'm wishing I'd watched it.

Having read both sets of responses in detail, the best description of Tec would be to describe it as "fuzzy" when it needs to be crystal clear.

Onwards and upwards.

What's on the turntable? "The Snow Goose" by Camel from "The Snow Goose". I am at work but with the help of Spotify I can listen to my favourite tracks. I am a total Spotify convert ( all the albums I'll never get around to buying (or replacing from my vinyls) they're here! And I can listen to them for free - with the occasional advert. Wonderful.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Feedback loop

So I got the feedback on Tec from Philip Shelley and Jez Freedman. I had been pretty happy with what I wrote with Tec then I got Jez's comments and smote my hand across my brow as he pointed out huge plot holes.

This made me dread the comments from Philip (because Philip was Script Editor on Waking the Dead for several years so he knows his police procedural).

It's not that either of them disliked it: both commented on how the concept was original and full of potential - and both commented on how far I had to travel to fulfill that potential.

When I get to this stage, which is pretty much where I was with Monsters a year and half ago, I like to sit down with the feedback and collate it - see what points are in agreement, and see whether I agree with them too.

Then the question is: how do I fix it? I have never been precious about my work. Writing and editing somewhere between 3 and 5 million words as a magazine editor cured me of that. So I can be pretty objective - once the faults have been pointed out (seeing them in the first place is a different issue).

I'm fairly analytical about it: isolate the key issues (some issues are of lesser importance because they'll be fixed automatically when the important stuff is fixed) and then see what additions and subtractions will have the desired effect.

Speaking of subtractions: I have been working my way through the Running feature script. Bearing in mind this was written in slightly over two weeks in April, it's not that bad - it does have some good stuff and the structure isn't too bad. But it does have sections of completely awful dialogue (made me cringe as I read it) and there is a sequence that just makes no sense at all. The character arcs need work - it's hardly surprising I lost touch with them writing so fast.

Meanwhile, on the subject of hating stuff...

I watched Chronicles of Riddick last night and I liked it. As I've said I take things for what they are, so it was fun (does that mean I enjoy myself more than people who feel they have to complain about anything that isn't "perfect"? I guess it does. Yay!) I loved the attention to detail in the set and costume design, it looked beautiful.

I have also been watching Desperate Romantics - that's fun too. Definitely not serious, but it is closer to the truth than I suspect most people realise.

What's on the turntable? "All Around My Hat" by Steel Eye Span from "All Around My Hat" - there's always room for electric folk rock.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Good boy

I printed out Running and I'll start editing at lunch today.

The Daughter is having a meeting with her production team today - yes indeed, she has a team (did I say that already?) and now we have a DoP for the Monsters shoot. Yay!

More soon.

What's on the turntable? Some music from a game the Boy's been playing...

Saturday, August 01, 2009


There's something I don't understand: why do people say they hate art?

I don't mean Art with a capital "A", I mean any art: books, music, films, actors, TV and stuff.

I discuss this with the Teacher from time to time. The way people say they "hate" - for the sake of argument - the director Michael Bay.


They don't hate him at all, they don't know him. They don't like the film, okay, but they don't hate the director. It's a complete lie. It's as if they have to have their emotions turned up to 11 just to make sure people notice. Simply having an opinion is not enough, you have to have everybody around you agree.

(It's the same with music, people saying they "hate" Band X - it doesn't matter if you don't like their music, that's fine, that's your opinion - but you don't hate them. Hate is a very particular emotion.)

I find this strange. I'm very relaxed about things, why get all worked up over a personal opinion?

It's become popular to criticise Independence Day. I don't get it. It's a fun film, it was never meant to be anything else. Have people lost their ability to suspend their disbelief?

I like lots of films that are supposedly "bad". I don't necessarily think they're great, but I'm willing to accept them for what they are and enjoy them on that basis. Sometimes a film is so bad I am forced to turn it off - like that silly Infected on the TV this evening: terrible plot, terrible dialogue - though the actors were making the best of it. But I don't hate anything to do with this movie, it was just poor.

Let's take the Matrix:Reloaded - the fight between Neo and the Agent Smiths is widely criticised for being pointless. One of the reasons why the two sequels are supposedly "rubbish". But the so-called pointlessness is the point. Neo can't beat them, that is the point. Neo becomes more effective and more Smiths turn up, until Neo realises - character development point - that he cannot fight them.

But it's fashionable to attack these films, so people do. Perhaps it's that some people cannot bear to have their own opinions.

Anyone know why people do this? Or should creators be hated for creating art that you don't personally like?

In other news

Today the Daughter, with the assistance of Director Chris, recorded her audition for the Welsh-accent-required movie - it was a short scene from the film itself. Not done in the best conditions: outdoors with pouring rain, and planes going over regularly. But we ended with a good take and her slight Welsh twang (she was channelling Eve Myles) worked well and only once crossed to Eire. (It didn't go East at all which was good.)

We also went to a falconry centre and flew two Eagle Owls, two Harris Hawks, a Barn Owl and a vulture. The vulture was great, a real character. They are incredibly light and we learned interesting facts about their care and flying them. This sort of thing is definitely not for people who are squeamish - food preparation involved cutting open chicks, and dead rats. And later holding bits of dead animal to bring the birds to the gauntlet.

The Teacher, Daughter and the Boy (and I) took it all in our stride. We were also appropriately dressed and genuinely interested, and asked (hopefully intelligent) questions.

Intelligence-wise I'd say the birds are slightly sub-dog. They have the same sort of food obsession as dogs, and they're clever enough to understand hand signals but not quite so good at handling the complex stuff. It was an excellent experience for the whole family, and you never know when something like this will be needed in a story.

What's on the turntable? "Orange Crush" by R.E.M. from the "Best of" compilation