2015 in Review

(or to be more accurate, My Shit Life in 2015) It's that time of year again when I like to look back and assess my achievements over the past year, and also briefly summarise any  important news stories that have occurred. The only problem with this is that I'm becoming increasingly bone-idle and boring in my pursuits, and so I've found it incredibly difficult to remember anything noteworthy that I've done in the last 12 months. In fact I could actually sum it up in 7 words (which would be far more suited to a text messsage, Tweet or even a fucking post-it note, rather than a blog post); I have done bugger all in 2015. I've had a look back at my 2014 in Review as a starting point, the gist of which can be condensed thus: I've not had any sex this year, so next year I intend to have some sex. This goal I have successfully smashed in 2015, having victoriously managed to have even less sex in the last year (something I didn't even think possible, 2014 being a record I thought would never be beaten). So what have I done? My main achievement - undoubtably - is growing and maintaining a moustache whilst simultaneously preserving the same level of baldness. In addition to this this I've been to a few gigs, some of the highlights being L7, Madness, Gaz Coombes, The Fall, Caravan Palace, Warpaint, Electric Wizard and Molotov Jukebox. I also saw the new Mad Max film 3 times at the cinema. I have continued getting tattooed and am finally beginning to make some progress. I am currently halfway through a back piece by Calypso Saga and I also had a small tattoo by Duncan X, which has been on my to-do list for a long time now. I also managed to squeeze in a short holiday and visited Berlin for a week - another item that has been on my to-do list for ages - and drank a lot of booze and had a lot of fun. I got robbed and fined whilst there - for bonus points, which has become fairly standard for me when abroad over the last couple of years. In other news (i.e global news, or the news), 2015 has been a triumph for unified, united multiculturalism, proving that human beings can live side-by-side, respecting each others' beliefs and value systems - without resorting to violence... Rock legend, Shane MacGowan, also got some new teeth. See you next year!

As Old As Gold

"Too old to Rock 'n' Roll, too young to die" sang Jethro Tull (the prog-rock singer, not the rotational crop farmer and inventor of the seed drill). Well I recently bought a pair of ridiculously tight skinny fit jeans of the hipster variety, so I wonder what he would think about that? Now I wouldn't normally do something like this for two main reasons: a) they look shit and b) I don't follow fashion and wouldn't usually want to be seen dead in anything that say, my colleagues or Noel Fielding, might consider wearing. So why have I taken this bold and radical step? Firstly because they were only £10, and at a tenner a pop - even I can afford to make this sartorial mistake. And secondly, I currently have the skinny legs and snake hips to get away with it (for now). That said - these are so tight that they're practically leggings - nearly as transparent as tights - and one cursory glance over the crotch area would probably give away what religion I follow, so tight are these jeans. I'm in a race against time with the onset of middle aged spread that has been slowing encroaching since the age of 30. Anyway, before I digress too much - there is another reason for this drastic purchase, and it is the most tragic reason of all. At the age of 34 (on the verge of being 35 in fact), I feel I am getting old - to old to even attempt to be fashionable any more  - and at best I have maybe a year or two left where I can get away with wearing this kind of attire. If I'm lucky. Any longer and I'd be in danger of being seen as "mutton dressed as lamb" - or whatever the male equivalent of that phrase is? In a sense I suppose I'm lucky to be bald, which rules out the option of me growing a ponytail during this horrible transitional phase I'm going through. I've already been getting tattooed on a regular basis for the last seven or eight years, and was fortunate enough to get my ear pierced when I was younger so there's no chance I will get a sudden urge to do that now in some hopeless attempt to hold on to my youth. These would all be tell tale signs of the phrase I've being trying to avoid  using in this blog post so far, but even so I'm probably just one Harley Davidson away from having a full-on midlife crisis. In the hopes of assuaging my impending descent into old age I've recently tried to make changes to my lifestyle - giving up smoking and cutting down on jaunts to the pub (and lusting after barmaids) - which are both good ways to improve your health and bank balance - but are both ultimately boring to do without. Clubbing also takes a less prominent position on my agenda these days, mainly because I fear I may have turned into the man on the dance floor that I hated as a teenager: people over the age of 30 simply do not belong in nightclubs, and certainly not on the dance floor. Maybe a potential saviour will arrive through the medium of online dating, but in all honesty, I do not have high hopes. Birds my age generally have children or some other baggage (usually in the form of a mental ex), or are morbidly obese or have some other unforgivable character trait that has made them into a spinster - shopping addiction, alcoholism, small breasts etcetera. Sounds great.  

Wrong Tom

As is very often the way with my blog posts, this one starts with the line, "I was in the pub the other night...". And as is also too frequently the case, it is also primarily concerned with the topic of "egosurfing". So anyway, I was in the pub the other night and I made some comment that might have been slightly disparaging about some of those members in our community who are less advantaged, or perhaps it was something sexually inappropriate, albeit in a good natured kind of way. It might have even been a combination of both, but that's not important to the story. "That's wrong, Tom...", my friend replied. Followed by: "That should be your name - Wrong Tom! Or maybe it was the wrong Tom who got you barred from the Hermit's Cave?". We laughed at this hysterically for about 5 minutes, in that way that drunk people laugh at things that aren't actually that funny, but it still stuck with me until after the hangover had cleared on the following day; Wrong Tom would be a suitable online alias for me to use. I've wanted to create a new social media identity for a while now, partly in an attempt to reduce my digital footprint, and also because I feel restricted with what I can share on my current Twitter/Instagram accounts. It would also be nice to have a change, as I've used by current Twitter handle - Mr Fatty Goo - for quite some time now (which is simply an anagram of my name). I set about registering the same, only to find that's it's already taken (along with every variation of the name) - by a DJ based in Peckham no less! Also taken were the domain names, which I had also planned to nab. And if I'm honest, I also had a Worse Tom tattoo in mind too, so it's just as well that I checked before heading off to the local ink jabber. What a complete and utter arsehole. This led to me doing Googling my name for a bit, only to discover that there is a brand of wine that carries my moniker, brewed in California by that other Tom Fogarty bastard, who actually died last year but still manages to usurp in the Google rankings (as does Tom Fogerty - also dead - who can't even spell his surname properly). Having discovered this I tried to order a bottle, only to find that they only sell it by the crate and they don't post internationally, even to people called Tom Fogarty. The slags. I then found there is a band called the Tom Fog Band, which scuppers any future plans I might have for world domination through the formation of my own super group. Wankers! I do wish people would stop stealing my completely original ideas before I've even had a chance to think of them myself; it beggars belief and makes my blood boil. It's bad enough having the likes of Count Macula nicking my identity on Instagram, without being preempted by a bunch of chancers. And let us not forget this sod, who always used beat me to the top of everyone's friend lists back in the MySpace years: mstom

Back in The Game (like Phil Mitchell on crack)

Like Phil Mitchell on the crack, I'm back in the game! Well, sort of. At the very least I've re-done my website in an attempt to keep it fresh (a bit like when you start wearing a gimp mask to bed to rejuvinate your stale 7-year old marriage with a woman who's got fat). Basically, I wanted to keep the new layout as minimal as possible, which will hopefully let people focus more on the writing. I also hereby promise to blog more regularly, concentrating on highbrow topics such as midgets, tattoos, unfortunate pub adventures, GG Allin, moaning about how I never get any sex and generally saying "F.T.W" a lot. I've set up a separate blog on Medium, where I'm going to write about work-related web development stuff (you'll notice it's alarmingly empty) and I've got an art-wank photo blog here. The idea behind this was to keep this site as personal as possible. F.T.W Here's a summary of the site changes (for luddites): - The site is fully responsive - so you can read it on the bus without getting eye strain - Popular blog posts and blog categories are now listed in the footer, rather than the sidebar - The latest 3 blog posts are previewed on the hompage - There is a separate page for older blog posts, organised by month - for easier navigation - The site has gone back to using Tom Fog brand colours (i.e boring shades of green) - There are still some bits I need to do, but fuck that now (I'll do it later) The boring techie bit (for dweebs): You might want to skip this bit if web technologies bore you (in which case, jump to the footnote *). I've used a free Wordpress template called Stanley WP, which I've customised to include a recent blog feed on the homepage and a photo gallery in the 'about' section. I've also created a custom blog archive and a human readable sitemap, which both update dynamically. I chose to stick with Wordpress as a framework, rather than Symfony, CodeIgniter or ExpressionEngine - mainly because I'm a lazy sod and didn't want to have to decouple the database structure and write a shitload of 301 redirects. I've also made use of some Wordpress plugins where necessary - although I've tried to keep these to a minimum. The site makes use of Twitter Bootstrap for responsiveness and has one breakpoint. The CSS has also been minimally tweaked, but only to change colours and remove rounded corners ectetera. And I've also made an effort to boost my SEO points to try and climb back up the Google rankings. If you have sucessfully managed to read this paragraph without nodding off, please ignore the footnote *. Have a look around and see what you think. Feedback - good or bad - is always welcome. * You are a wanker

I’m Not Dead (part 2)

So, I've got to the age of 33 and a half, and I'm still not dead. I've not blogged much this year and I'm sure you're all dying to know what I've been up to? In truth, not very much. The main reasons for this are twofold, namely: a) being skint, and b) being a very lazy bastard. Take tonight for example; it's the bank holiday weekend and I could have gone out to a party, but instead I decided to stay in and sit in my pants, writing this blog post and listening to Marilyn Manson. I've been doing a lot of boring life admin this year - the kind of stuff no-one likes doing, and yet do it we must. I think I've neglected this stuff for the last 10 years and it's all piled up and then fallen on top of me all at once. Workwise, my office moved location back in April which has been quite good. Mainly because I'm working in a new area with new pubs and new barmaids to terrorise. I also got a small pay rise, due to all the hard graft and amazing coding I do. Or something like that. Those small victories aside, my main achievement in 2014 has been growing a beard. I've haven't gone to any festivals and I've not even been to many gigs. I've seen Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (great band, but totally impossible to understand a single word of it or tell when one song stops and the next one starts), Macaulay Culkin's Pizza Underground (good but weird), and Elvis Costello (the sod only did acoustic stuff). Probably the easiest way to summarise the last 8 months might be to go back through my New Year's Resolutions for this year, and see how many I've ticked off: Sleep with a girl Don't be bloody stupid! Go on holiday I've booked to go to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos for 3 weeks in November (a big part of the reason I'm skint at the moment). Get my leg tattoo finished Nearly there. One final session to go in October and my left leg will be completely filled in. Go swimming Fuck off! Learn to drum Nope (see answer above). Save some money I am trying, honest - but London is such an expensive city to live in. Stay out of the pub Sort of. I'm not been to my local in ages, due to the fact that they've put the price of Guinness up to £4.25 a fucking pint. The steep price hike is probably a deterrent in honour of me - as the staff are sick of seeing my face each and every day. I'm also barred from the Hermits Cave and the Stormbird now, which limits my options somewhat. Soho is also no longer one of regular haunts (seeing as I don't work there now) - but I have been pissing it up in Hackney a fair bit of late. Do the Lottery Couldn't be arsed once I'd found out it's two quid a pop. Heal the world I do my best.

R.I.P Tom Fogarty

Don't worry, this isn't one of those grim online suicide notes - I'm still alive and well (or as well as can be expected for someone in the grip of severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms). Anyone who knows me will be aware that when it's time for me to snuff it, I want to take as many people with me as possible - so you're more likely to see my death announced on the news in conjunction with some mass killing spree in a shopping centre, than you are to see it featured in some glib blog post. I'm talking about some other Tom Fogarty who died back in January, who I'm sure was a great man. I only found out about it because I was doing some "ego surfing" on Twitter and found this: "R.I.P Tom Fogarty. Such a wonderful guy who will be missed" At first I was quite shocked to find out that I'm dead and wondered how it had happened (à la Beetlejuice). Then I was fairly annoyed that I've still been buying an oyster card for the last 4 months, when really as a ghost you'd think I'd be entitled to free transport (like Patrick Swayze in that film, Ghost). Then finally, after rereading the Tweet a few times, I realised that it was not talking about me (the bit about him "being a wonderful guy" should have given it away earlier I suppose). Next I assumed it was referring to Dr Tom Fogarty (that bloke who invented the Fogarty Balloon Catheter). I've moaned about him before for bumping me down in the Google search results, but not enough to wish the bloody man dead. Although the higher ranking would be good. In actual fact this sod has further pushed me down the rankings lately by opening a winery under the same name. I'm not too happy about that. And neither was it the Tom Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival (as he's already dead). Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to salute my dead homie, Tom Fogarty (whoever the fuck he is?). Just as long as he doesn't push on to page 2 of the Google search index. R.I.P in Valhalla you mighty warrior x

Tom Fog is Easy to Draw

Being a bespectacled baldie I've always been incredibly easy to caricature (I basically look like a potato from Lidl). Taking this into account, I thought I'd share some of the drawings that people have done of my shiny bald bonce. Enjoy. Also - if anyone else wants to draw me - I've got a couple of spare frames at home (approx. 30x40cm) - so get your artistic juices flowing and you can go up on my wall! I secretly think that I am the centre of the universe so it would probably be good for my ego as well... Carly Strauss Although we've not met, I've known Carly for a few years online and she is quirky, hot and funny. She also does these awesome portraits based on her friends' Instagram "selfies". She sells a lot of her work and was personally commissioned by transexual porn star, Buck Angel to draw him/her. How cool is that? Here is the Instagram portrait carly drew for me, which I'm happy to say is hanging on the wall at my mum's house: Check out her stuff here: https://www.facebook.com/carlystraussartist Holly Hooper Holly used to work in my local pub and had to put up with me drunkly leering at her on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. Holly has since gone on to graduate with an art degree and has moved on to bigger things, although she's still a looker. Holly drew this of me for a project she was working on and features elements from different posts on this very blog! Check out some of her work here: http://juniperhoopers.blogspot.co.uk Paul Shinn I went to school with Paul, but despite this, he has still managed to make something of his life - and is currently working as a freelance illustrator. He drew this for me last year when I was taking part in Movember: Rather than grow a moustache for Movember like the rest of us, Paul chooses to draw mastachioed celebrities instead, and you can view his Movember blog (and donate) here: http://movillustrations.tumblr.com Emma Bevan I work with Emma and she's one of those clever UX people who knows all about usability, interface interactions and stuff. She's also a very talented drawer too, but as with all talented creatives, she has her flaws as well (she is Welsh). Emma drew this at work last week, after I drunkenly tried to get into the G-A-Y in Soho (I wasn't allowed in). My Tinder really doesn't work my the way, but I am a brilliant dancer: You can have a look at Emma's funny cartoon blog here: http://emmscrapdrawrings.tumblr.com  

Golden Years

I spent too much money over the Xmas period (and in the weeks leading up to it), and as a result I've found myself incredibly skint this month. This has meant that I've had to be very careful with money through January and I've given up the booze. Cold Turkey. Having had to spend so much time in has given me a lot of time to think and evaluate my life. I've been wondering where all the time has disappeared to and asking myself: would I do things differently if I had my time all over again? The answer is undoubtedly, yes! Most of my regrets are about sex, drugs and booze - but only that I didn't have more of these things when I was younger. I had my fair share of course, but not to the excess that I would have really liked. In truth, I'm having more fun now than I ever did before - but given that most of my school pals are now married with kids and settled down - at what point do I have to do the same? At what age will I have "missed the boat"? When is it too old to dance etcetera? On Friday I was lucky enough to be given a free ticket to a gig in Camden. It was a Screamo band called The Blackout. It was good fun, but I was clearly the oldest person in the place by at least 10 years. I was certainly the only bald bloke there. Being in situations like that really make you think... Then on Saturday I went to my mum's, unannounced, and by coincidence she was looking through some old photos of me. They brought back all kinds of memories for me, so I thought I'd share a few of them on here. All were taken during my teenage years between the ages of 16-19, back in the days when I had hair and piercings (as now, I didn't like smiling much back then). I used to listen to The Doors, Supergrass, The Prodigy and Pink Floyd on a daily basis during that period in my life, and I'd sit up all night watching The Evil Dead films and listening to The Clash. I used to play Super Mario and Street Fighter 2 on my Nintendo console as well (but only up until the time I discovered the pub and put childish things behind me). There was also a picture of of teenage bedroom - complete with Che Guevara and Clockwork Orange posters - which brought back all kinds of nostalgic reminiscings. It was around those years - while I was still at school - that I got my first tattoo; a sun on my hip. Together with the piercings, this should have made me the coolest person in Sixth Form by rights. But it didn't, sadly. I actually had my first tattoo before I lost my virginity, although it was around that time that I had my first proper girlfriend - a shoplifter called Michelle who went to Notre Dame school (dirty catholic sluts). I also remember when I first went to the Ivy House pub at the age of 16 with my fake ID, or going to the Venue nightclub in New Cross. Or the Bon Bonne in Norwood and Gin Palace in Old Kent Road. I also went to Klub Ku and The Fridge but I didn't realise they were gay clubs at the time. When doing my Art A-level I got to go to life drawing classes and it was the first time I'd seen a naked lady up close (apart from watching Eurotrash, staring closeup at the telly screen with my trousers round my ankles). On the first time I went, there was an attractive young French student posing, and during the tea break she came up to me to chat (probably because I was the only other young person in the room). Certainly wouldn't happen to me now! She only put a jumper on, and when I glanced down (which I did often), I could see her vagina. I was so excited and terrified that I couldn't speak properly and ended up mumbling like a spasmo. I was much more shy in those days, I would never of had the confidence to go in to a pub and sit at the bar, talking to the barmaids like I do now. But in fairness I did look very young, and I suppose for some people these things come with age. Looking back at these pictures brought back some good memories but also made me feel a bit sad. I wonder what the next 10 years will have in store for me... Anyway, here are some of the photos:

Being Famous

I thought it might be nice to write a brief and modest blog post, highlighting some of my many achievements. Being a humble man, I won't dwell on any of these for too long, but will simply list the most important. Most of these accomplishments can be found online for anyone who wants to Google them and find out more (although I'm certain that most of you search for my name on a regular basis anyway). It's nice being famous. With a list of good deeds as widespread as mine, it's hard to know where to begin, so I suppose I should really start with my day job. An accomplished web developer, I have worked with many of the UK's leading charities, helping to spread love and well-being around the world - saving the lives of animals, children and old cunts (this is in addition to my own ceaseless charity campaigning for Movember - helping to preserve men's testicles). Perhaps the most notable of these was the successful endeavour to convince supermarket chain, Tescos, to change their wicked ways and keep their factory-reared ducks wet. Ducks raison d'être is to be kept wet after all (and not dry). Outside of my web development/design work, I've actually long been a celebrity online in other areas. My picture is featured on Inked Guys - a gay site, dedicated to the love of handsome tattooed specimens of manhood. I don't begrudge my picture appearing on this site (why would I?) - for surely the gays can't help but fall in love with me in the same way that every women I have ever met has done. I'm also featured in the 45 Inspiring Finger Tattoos. Aside from this, on a medical tangent - I have achieved great success also - in particular for my patented invention, The Fogarty Balloon Catheter (what helps blokes with dodgy prostates, as well as perverts). In the world of business I have my own line in exclusive duvets, quilts and pillow cases. That is all. My brilliance also extends into the realm of the arts where I played guitar in the 60s and 70s for the legendary rock group, Creedence Clearwater Revival. Furthermore, I am an acclaimed music journalist, having written many articles for the UKs leading music rag, Penny Black Music (please excuse the frequent typos and grammatical errors in my articles). And now to add to this list, I am now a published food writer, having appeared in yesterday's edition of the Guardian magazine (see photographic evidence top-left). (Disclaimer: actually, most of these things weren't me - but the bits about the ducks, Inked Guys and Penny Black Music are true)

Up and Running Again

I've not had time to post on here recently, mainly because the last few weeks have been very hectic - so here's a quick update on what I've been up to: About 4 weeks ago the agency that I work for, Whitewater, went into liquidation. We had no warning beforehand and it was a pretty stressful and manic time. Wisely, I used alcohol as crutch during this time. You can read more about the demise of Whitewater here if you so wish. Luckily, I managed to find a new job within 2 weeks with a digital marketing agency in Soho. I started a fortnight ago and I'm really happy there (although I'm still getting used to the workload and heavy schedule). Some of our clients include Friends of The Earth, The British Heart Foundation, RSPCA and The Royal British Legion (plus lots of non-charity companies). Although I've been very poor for a month, scrimping and saving and whatnot while I wait for my first packet of wages - I did a bit of freelance work to tide me over. I also had the pleasure of signing-on at the salubrious Peckham Job Centre for 2 weeks. I found that everything is free when you're on the dole, so I treated myself to a free checkup at the dentist, as well as an eye-test. I also got myself some swanky new glasses like Elton John/Timmy Mallet. I'm booked in to get a groovy new tattoo with the lovely and highly-talented Calypso in July, which I'm really excited about. And it also means I'll be able to cross another one off my list. I'll post pictures when it's done, no doubt. For fun, I've mainly been drinking heavily, and I went to a couple of all-nighters at The Prince Charles Cinema which were both really fun nights. I received my Olympics 2012 boxing tickets today, so I have that to look forward to in just over a month as well. I've been working on a complete revamp of this very website, which should be live in the next few weeks, fingers crossed. And finally, in another groundbreaking announcement, I've swapped smoking Drum tobacco for B&H, as I found I was getting a bit throaty and my fingers were becoming a lurid shade of orange.

2011 in Retrospect

Looking back over the year, I've had quite a good one. Scanning over last year's 2011 resolutions - basically the same list every bloody year - I've ticked a few of them off in the last 12 months. Here are some of the bits and bobs I've done this year (some good, some not so good): Spent a week in Barcelona in a hostel, getting sun burnt and wasted. Went to 3 music festivals - Primavera in Spain, ATP: Nightmare Before Xmas (at Butlins!) and Secret Garden Party - which I actually went to on my own (for bonus points). Primavera Sound Part 1: Videos Secret Garden Party 2011 Roundup I saw Bob Dylan and The Cranberries at The Feis. I went to see Chas & Dave's farewell gig (the gig was so successful, the bastards promptly reformed the following month): http://tomfogarty.com/blog/chas-n-dave-gig I got a new job - web developer for a digital agency: Whitewater. 3 rounds of interviews and 2 tests, quite proud of that one. I then won the "Cockup of The Month" award at work - one month after starting. I started writing for a music rag - Penny Black Music. Check out my reviews/interviews here. I had some attractive couch-surfers from Sweden and America stay at my flat - and I didn't even attempt to shag or molest them or anything. I got a couple of tattoos done (well, 9 to be exact). One of them was done by Chad Koeplinger. Russian Criminal Owl Tattoo I saw Grinderman before they announced they were splitting. I went into a bookie's and placed a bet on a horse. BETCHA! I went to see Joana and The Wolf (on several occasions), and went completely spastic at Koko. Joana and The Wolf - Koko Gig I designed a few new freelance websites. I saw Big Trouble in Little China and The Evil Dead trilogy at the cinema (yes, I think that's something worth mentioning). I did a hell of a lot of "trolling". I grew a moustache and raised some money for Movember. I jumped into a freezing lake to save a drowning child and then resuscitated him (ok, this one is a lie - but the list was getting quite thin). And that's about it. My favourite new films of the year were Troll Hunter and Hobo With a Shotgun. And finally, here are some pictures of me getting drunk at the work summer party - included for no other reason than it was a fun day:

Tom Fogarty Poem

I've had some dark days (and nights) recently, and I don't want this to turn in to some dreary emo/gothic blog. So with that in mind, I'm going to take a little break - until I have some funny stories to tell again.
I'll leave you with this - it's a little poem I wrote and it sums up my life rather well I think:
(back soon I hope)
GG Allin, Murder Junkies
I like midgets, also monkies
Bovva boots, skinhead
Withnail & I, Dawn of The Dead
I'm quite well endowed, but not one to boast
Jumping in puddles, eating toast
Compulsive blogger, I do music reviews
My name is Tom and I have tattoos
A bit of a cynic, I like a good moan
I go to the pub, I drink alone
Not much of a looker but alright at a glance
I go to shady venues, I love to dance
I can be clever, but never a snob
Usually crass, a borderline yob
A web designer but a right mess I make
Hulk Hogan, Jake The Snake
Happy when drunk, you'll find me joking
If not I'll be outside, in a corner smoking
PHP coding, I create lots of bugs
Staying up late, taking drugs
Video nasties, zombie flicks
Quite the loner, I never meet chicks
Baldie head, could pass as a monk
I listen to heavy metal, ska and punk
Don't read my mind - my thoughts are obscene
I wear specs but my eyes are green
I dwell in Camberwell in a tiny flat
I live on my own but I'd quite like a cat
Don't raid my place, you might find a stash
Too lazy to shave, often with 'tache
I like The Ramones, The Pogues and The Doors
Usually single... but I could be yours

Spider Web Design – Movember 2011

It's been a really long and tricky week this week - work has been a proper ballache for sure. Tonight is Friday night, but I'm too tired to go out (not too mention too skint). Paradoxically, I'm too wired to actually sleep, which is why I'm still up, typing this. Being such a busy week I've not really had time to shave and I've ended up growing a bit of a beard. It's not a full beard by any means; in fact it looks exactly like a minge. And not an attractive, well-trimmed minge either; a sporadic unkempt minge that makes you say "sort it out, love - I'm not putting my face anywhere near that, thank you very much". As a matter of fact, so patchy is it - that you might even think that it's a minge that's got mange. Except it's not a minge - it's a beard. Sort of. Around this time each year - for some reason I can't explain - I usually get the bizarre urge to grow a moustache. And then I usually do. Maybe it's because of the change in the seasons/weather/light. Who knows? Anyway, my moustahce growing is very well documented on this site already (most of the traffic I get each day is split roughly 50/50 between "Russian criminal tattoos" and "how to grow a handlebar moustache?"). My current boss read this blog when I applied for my job, and is keen to get a team together for Movember this year. This pretty much obligates me to take part. As far as I can tell - the "team" will only have to grow moustaches - and won't involve taking showers, touching each others' dicks, or anything of that nature. I'm not 100% sure though. So while I have my bit of a beard/minge - I thought I might as well use it as the starting point for Tom Fogarty's bid for glory in Movember 2011. I've set up a page on Movember and everything, although I haven't started pimping it yet. Check it out at mobro.co/spiderwebdesign I'll be updating the page regularly from tomorrow, so please keep checking back! Interestingly (although maybe only interesting to me) - I received an email recently from someone who has made an iPhone app for moustache growers - and they'd asked me to review it. It basically takes a picture of you each day while you grow your moustache, then at the end plays it back so you can watch the moustache grow across your face like some deadly plague. Sadly, I don't have an iPhone otherwise I would have loved to try it out. And as I was so flattered to be asked - I'm giving it a free plug here anyway: WatchMeChangeApp.com

Music Journalism

I'm now a music journalist for Penny Black Music (as well as being a web designer/developer, home tattooist, raconteur, artist etcetera). I've only done 4 reviews so far, and I don't have my own section on the site yet, but I'm really enjoying it and I've very grateful to have been given this opportunity. For now you can check out my stuff at these links: Joana and The Wolf Arabrot - Solar Anus Twilight Singers - Dynamite Steps The Wild Mercury Sound - Miss Frost (single) I find it quite funny (and typical of my life in general) that one of the first albums I had to review was called Solar Anus by a Norwegian "noise metal" band. The music video above is by another Scandinavian metal act, Lordi. They won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006. The plot of the video seems to be this: Lordi materialise in a school gym and kill a load of cheerleaders by playing their music. A Lordi fan - a "true believer" - is spared. Lordi then resurrect the dead cheerleaders as zombies, but they don't do any cool dancing like in Thriller. Nice.

Tom Fogarty: Music Journalist

BREAKING NEWS JUST IN... I am now a music journalist. Well, sort of. I've been taken on as a writer for Penny Black Music. It's not paid work, but I will get to go to free gigs and write about them afterwards. And that's something that I'm really thrilled about. I'm not hoping to change careers or anything, but I love going to gigs, and I love writing - so why not combine the two? It'll also be nice to do some structured, focussed writing - instead of my usual rambling nonsense on here. I'm going to get some business cards printed up later (designed by moi, naturally): Tom Fogarty Web Designer Home Tattooist Music Journalist My first review is online here at PennyBlackMusic. It's about Joana and The Wolf (of course) from The Lexington in August. There's a couple of spelling mistakes, and I'm credited at "Tom Fograty", but who cares?


Not blogged in over a week. This is partly because there is lots going on, and there is nothing going on (any paraphrasing of Dickens' Tale of Two Cities is merely accidental). That sounded shit didn't it? The main reason I haven't posted, is because the internet is down at my flat (along with the telephone). I'll get around to sorting it out soon. I'm actually finding the lack of internet quite liberating (if somewhat limiting for a web developer/designer). The good news (I think?) - is that I have to stay at my mum's place this week, in order to feed her cats while she buggers off on holiday. Did I mention she lives in Peckham? Which increases the likelihood of me getting shot in the next week exponentially. At least she has the internet - which means I can update my blog. This also means that I have access to pornography again. Another good thing about being at my mum's place is that she doesn't have any decent local pubs. I know this actually sounds bad - but it means that I can save some money this week. This is good because I plan on getting tattooed next weekend. It's also good to be around cats again. I really cats, but I find they're a bit like wives; I don't minding stroking somebody else's - but I wouldn't want one of my own at the moment. Anyway, back to the blog - I will try and post every day this week. It's not like I've got anything better to do...

Ego Surfing (because I’m worth it)

I did a little bit of "ego surfing" last night before bed. And why not? I've mentioned before that I'll never be top of the rankings for "Tom Fogarty" - as there's just too many famous Tom Fogartys about. Some of them even hold down steady jobs and have girlfriends and stuff. I decided to broaden the search a bit, and tried "Tom Fogarty web designer". This pulled in my website, my LinkedIn profile, and not a lot else.. I then tried "Tom Fogarty tattoos". Bingo! Tons of my blog entries turned up. Also, high up on the first page of hits, was this little gem (that I didn't even know existed). And that's why I'm giving them a plug here... Inked Guys is a Tumblr photo blog, unsurprisingly, full of inked guys. My tattooist, Liam Sparkes, features on the same page (the bloke wearing the horned mask) - and there's tons of other good pictures on there too. It may look suspiciously like gay porn, but it's well worth checking out! SpiderWebDezign on Inked Guys inkedguys.tumblr.com

The Camera Never Lies

Everyone wants to be a looker, but some of us aren't. Some of us are lucky, and can make up for it with banter and comedy - but the camera never lies. If you're attractive, you don't need to make as much effort in other areas - people will automatically like you - that's just the way it goes. About a month ago I was invited to a party at a disused peanut factory in East London by my mate Chris. The crowd were going to be a trendy lot, and I really really wanted to go. Trouble is, despite wanting to be there, I just didn't fit in. Instead of taking the plunge, and being actively social, I spent most of the night outside talking to the cat. This picture was taken while I wasn't looking and I look uncomfortable and socially awkward. But like I say, the camera never lies. The bloke on the left is Chris (whom I went to Barcelona with recently) - he's effortlessly cool and I actually wish I could be him. The girl on the right is Laura; she works for The Times newspaper and is thoroughly lovely, but I'll probably never meet her again.

New Blog – Spider Web Design

So I've been having problems with my hosting company. The redirects I've set up only seem to work when they want to. My sub-domains hardly ever work and now I've found out I'm nearly out of space. This is a pain in the arse because I'm a regular blogger at the moment, and I like to upload pictures. My hosting company is French by the way, making communication with them almost impossible. I can't remember why I decided it would be a good idea to opt for a French-speaking web hosting company. I was probably drunk at the time. I will probably switch hosts at some point soon, but it's somewhere down on a very long "to do" list. Somewhere behind "Natalie Imbruglia". What I've decided to do is this: I've set up a new blog over at Spider Web Design. I will use this to blog about the current projects I am working on - web design, web development, photography, art etcetera - and the bulk of my photos will be uploaded there. As that blog is tied to my "professional" website spiderwebdezign.com, I will try to be sensible and keep the nonsense down to a minimum. I will continue to post my stupid stories, rants and rambles on this blog. Any pictures I do upload here (homemade tattoo misadventures, embarrassing drunken pub jaunts etcetera) - I can host on Flickr or Picasa and hotlink to them.

Dulcet Tones

If you're fed up with your life, and really depressed - to the extent where you've lost all hope for the future - you could try calling the Samaritans. And if - even they, cannot help - you may well find yourself calling the The World Travel Awards in desperation. If you call out of hours though, you are likely to be greeted by this cheery little message (turn your speakers up high if you want to hear): Tom Fogarty - Voicemail message I was forced to record this yesterday by my boss. Voicemail messsages come under the responsibility of the IT department i.e me. Rather than record it directly in to the phone (which would have been far too obvious), I was made to record it using a microphone into a dictaphone, before uploading the WAV file. I ad-libbed the message and recorded it in one take, because I am a consummate professional, something akin to Jack Nicholson or Frank Sinatra.

If Music Be The Food of Love..

I had a really strong urge to blog tonight, but couldn't think of anything much to say. No change there then. Decided to share my Last FM profile with you: Last FM - SpiderWebDesign I don't have a an iPod, nor do I have a Spotify account - but I do like Last FM. I've created a playlist on there with about 57 songs - it plays the songs randomly - and I listen to it often. I've got some good stuff on there - GG Allin, Misfits, Rezillos, LunaChicks et al. I also have some utter shit - Dennis Waterman, Belinda Carlisle, Glen Madeiros(!). I don't apologise for any of it; what it represents to me is nostalgia. Good or bad, all the songs on the list stuck in my mind at certain points in my life, and provide me with escapism today. If I have a shitty day at work (which is often) - I can play some of these tracks - and it transports me back to other times in my life, happier times. And it helps me to feel better. That is all. Have a listen, see what you think...

Old Sites, Old Friends… New Starts

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I made a website. I also used to write and draw stuff, until I got lazy and stopped, and started to drift through life. This was 11 years ago to be exact. And in that time I forget that I ever built that first website (even though today I earn my living - in part - from web design). Recently, someone reminded me of this, and sent me the link to that first website - which actually still exists out there on the interweb. I found this very amusing (and I must admit, a little touching), and so I share the link with you: Nunhead Morgue It's interesting  to note, that 11-years later, and at the age of 30 - my sense of humour, writing ability and web design skillset - has not changed or improved one iota. Around the time that I made the website - I made friends with someone online - and it was they who sent me the link recently. In the years that have passed since then, we've stayed in touch - both online and via text - although we never actually met. Sometimes there were lengthy gaps in contact - this was due to me; I'm bad at staying in contact and I often disappear from the internet for long periods of time... But we've always got back in touch sooner or later. Even so, I always felt that we shared a sense of humour and that we would get on well in real life. Today we met up for the first time. I'm pleased to say that for me, I really enjoyed the day and I had a lot of fun; I felt like I'd known her for years. And in a way, I had. It's a shame it was due to sad circumstances that prompted us to finally meet - but it's funny how life works out sometimes. The person is going through a difficult at the moment, so I'd like to help them through it however I can. I really hope we get to meet up again soon. While I'm on this bent, recently I've been meeting up with someone from primary school that I hadn't seen for probably 12+ years. We get on like a house on fire, and there's a lot of laughs when we see each other today. The same thing happened with a mate from secondary school - we lost contact when we went off to university - and didn't contact each other until a couple of years ago. Again, same story; when we met up again we continued where we left off and we still laugh and joke about the same things today. To tie this back up with the website I made all that time ago - I guess some blokes grow up, and others don't. I'm not saying I'm totally immature, and I don't crank up Young at Heart by The Bluebells on a daily basis (honest!), but I'm glad I'm not quite passed it yet, and can still make time for friends. The people mentioned here all read this blog - they know who they are - so this one goes out to them. Peace out (and I hope you enjoyed the website).

Google Re-Indexing

So I'm still waiting for Google to re-index my site, but the bastards don't seem to want to do it. Basically, what I want is for them to list www.tomfogarty.com instead of www.tom-fogarty.com. I don't have a lot of patience. At first I did the sensible thing and I simply redirected the old domain to the new one, but I got bored of that. So now I've made a "Tom has moved" page instead. I got the idea while I was checking out the website of a friend of a friend. He's called Thomas Flintham and this is the page: thomasflintham.blogspot.com It's based on the now defunct Teletext page and I think it's really cool (if you check out his CV there's some pretty impressive things on there, but I think this is better). In fact, I wish I'd thought of the idea first. Changing the subject, Google Analytics can tell you some interestings things; for the past 3 days someone has found my site by searching for "Tom Fogerty Spider Web Design". The funny thing about this is that they know my company name, but misspell my surname (which proves it's not my mum at least). I wish I knew who it was. I also get quite a few hits from people searching for "Liam Sparkes Exhibition". I hope they're not too disappointed with what they find here, as I'm a big Liam Sparkes fan.

Waterloo Pub Crawl

As I no longer have a Facebook account where I can post pictures (in order to prove I have friends and a social life), I thought I'd stick some up on here. Last Friday I went on a small pub crawl around Waterloo after work. I can't remember how many we had but it felt like a lot. I went with my mate Gennaro, and his mate, Jamie. Jamie also brought his dad, who was a really sound bloke with some very interesting and funny stories. Jamie also had a full-sleave Japanese tattoo, which left me suitably impressed. Here are a few of the photos. I've left out the blurry ones (of which there were many), but the full set are up on Picasa here: Waterloo Pub Crawl Me on left, Gennaro on the right. If we stood a bit closer together our heads would look a pair of tits. Or maybe a giant arse. In 90% of photos taken of me, I think what an ugly mug. In the other 10%, I'm alright at a glance (but that's because my face is hidden by shadow). Jamie & Gennaro. Note the cool tattoo! Random drunk bird:

YouTube Channel – Spider Web Design

I set up a YouTube channel over the weekend - partly because I had a creative vibe going on for a while there - but mainly because I was bored: YouTube - Spider Web Design I've only got 2 shoddy videos on there at the moment; one was something that I was forced to make while at university in 2007 (you can tell I was forced by the sarcastic tone of it), and I've already shared that one on here before. The second one I knocked up in 20 minutes on Saturday - it's just photos moving around - but it's something I'd like to play around with more. You can also check out some of my favourite videos from other YouTube users. I'll be adding more stuff there soon, and it's basically just another handy way for me to peddle my evil wares online. Talking of videos, I was really happy today to get a reply from Lloyd Kaufman on Twitter (@lloydkaufman). He's the director of The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke'em High, Poultrygeist, Sgt. Kabukiman: NYPD etcetera. He's one of my favourite directors of all time, up there with John Waters and Russ Meyer.

New Facebook Page

A couple of weeks back I deleted my Facebook profile as it was getting on my nerves. As a result of this my blog views have taken a serious drop, so I had to come up with a workaround for the problem. I've now had the brainwave to create a Facebook page instead. It doesn't have any fans/followers yet so I don't have a custom username/URL to send you to yet. You can find it by searching for "TomFOGARTY: Spider Web Design". The good thing is that as a follower, you will be informed of my latest blog posts, pictures, events etcetera... but you won't have to put up with me posting nonsense on your walls and photos. Everyone's a winner. I even made this cartoon logo to go on the page, inspired by the 90s cartoon, Daria.

The Power of Twitter!

Up until recently I didn't really understand Twitter. I used it to plug my site and get more hits, but I never saw the point of using it. Lately though, I've found it you can make contact with some really cool cats. And it can also be really funny if you follow the right people. All interesting/creative/cool/funny people to follow: @DogstarBrixton @tojofo @paulshinndraws @TheFilthyTab @ArinaOrlova @bkmorse The biggest Twitter mistake I made was following Stephen Fry, but everyone does this when they first sign up. He says some clever and witty things sometimes. But only sometimes. Most of it utter tripe - and he tweets a lot. I made the Gary Glitter Twitter Bot over the Xmas period  - and the tweets that come in through that usually cheer me up every morning on the bus. The only thing that concerns me is that it will end up with more followers than me. But then again, Gary Glitter was the greatest rock 'n' roll star Britain has ever produced, so who am I to argue with greatness? Here are some of my favourite Gary Glitter tweets it has produced: There's a Gary glitter bot haha Name cool people? — Allah. Adolf Hitler. Josef Stalin. Gary Glitter. Michael Barrymore... OMG I was retweeted by a Gary Glitter bot! Gary Glitter has won the auction for Michael Jackson's PC. society is obsessed with youth. especially gary glitter and jonathan king. Dear Gary Glitter, Stop retweeting me. You creep. Behave. Sincerely, me. Gary glitter bot will be all over you after you mentioned his name! And again! If we can get Gary Glitter bot to retweet himself we could crash twitter. WHY IS THERE A GARY GLITTER BOT!? THAT'S JUST WRONG IN SO MANY WAYS. I though I was special... Till I met all the over kids in the van. Damn Gary glitter and his lies. :O Is gary glitter on twitter? Gary Glitter is my best friend. Did anyone go to Gary Glitter's show for new year What did Gary Glitter do that is so sick and shocking? I actually have no idea. :/ Love the way every time someone tweets gary glitter you get the gary glitter bot! piss off. And there is no Gary Glitter bot! My first kiss was in Gary Glitter's basement The creepy landlord that may have murdered that woman in the UK, looks like Gary Glitter and a Oompa Loompa had a baby. haaaaa Gary Glitter spat in my mouth once :( Can't believe Gary Glitter got an OBE! The only way Eastenders could have been more depressing is if when Ronnie got back home Gary Glitter was waiting Is it just me or does Jo Yeates' landlord Chris Jefferies have more than a passing resemblance to Paul Gadd / Gary Glitter?

Top of Google and Bing Rankings!

Just a quick post to say that today - finally - I'm top of the google rankings (based on the search term "Tom Fogarty". It's only part of the "Google Dance" rejig that happens every month, but I'm still happy. I'm also proud to announce that I'm top of the Bing rankings too, and they've even got tomfogarty.com listed there too (which will eventually replace tom-fogarty.com)

Last Random Photos of 2010

Just noticed that the last blog post I stuck up on here was my 100th. I'm so glad it was about midgets. Anyway, was just clearing the old photos off my camera and phone - and found these random shots from 2010. They're not of much interest but I thought I'd post them anyway. The photo at the top-left is of me with a co-worker at a work event. Her name is Rebecca and she's lovely. She doesn't have a Facebook account so you can't stalk her (I've tried). Obviously, I fell in love with her for a short period after this photo was taken, as is my wont. And yes, I'm wearing a suit. Took this in the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane. I was working there at this event. Reminds me of a bargain basement version of Rothco. I like Rothco a lot, in particular because he slit his wrists in the bath (I think artists should suffer...). This is when they filled the turbine hall at Tate Modern with sunflower seeds (all in the name of art). The bastards wouldn't even let me walk on them. And they're not for eating either. This is when I tried to take a picture of the moon (I think). Failed miserably though. I really must learn how to use my camera properly in 2011; I've never even "zoomed in" yet. This is a dead bee (I didn't kill it). Found this in my flat one morning. That's all folks.

New Tattoos 2011

I've been blogging for just over a year now and I'm coming close to 100 posts. One of my first blog posts last year, was a picture of my tattooed torso and it was very popular. I also stuck the picture up on Flickr and it was by far my most viewed picture. The only trouble was that the tattoos were actually photoshop gimickry. I thought I'd upload a new version one year on, and yes - those ARE long johns (for that authentic prison/gulag-look). And as you can also see, I hang to the left.. Some are genuine, some are pretend, and some are intended for the new year. As always, comments and feedback and always welcome!

New Year’s Resolutions for 2011

This definitely just an excuse to make a list (I do like making pointless lists). Go on holiday (i.e a holiday longer than 2 days, and where I do not have to spend it working). Get into the Groucho club. Become a proper web developer/designer (I'm sick of the technical support side of my day job). Learn CodeIgniter properly Build a couple more client websites (and get paid). Do some artwork again. I'm really into the idea of getting this DarkSide/DownSide exhibition up and running. Basically, it's a collaborative art project about the dark, gloomy, morbid, seedy side of life. If you're interested in taking part - get in touch! Do more photography and finish off the "Magnificent Seven" cemetery project (Highgate and Nunhead) Start my "Bedlam" book project I've been thinking about for years Sleep with a woman (actually this is on my list every year - it's more of lifetime mission, that one). Get some Duncan X/Mr X flash work done on me (so I can discard the Photoshop foolishness). Tattoo someone else (for a change). Try some high-quality heroin. Not necessarily in correct order, although I've tried to put them in the order that a normal person would put them in (if they were forced to put these items into a list).

30 Years Old – And Still Not Dead!

I got some more pants for my birthday. I also got this fantastic card from Paul Shinn. I've been pestering him to do a picture of me riding on a giant bee for years now, so long in fact, that I don't even know why. Being naked was not part of the request, however. I'm a bit ashamed that I didn't get the Button Moon and Superman II references though (I'd thought they were referring to drug-use and Evil Dead II instead). Now that he's actually drawn the picture, I'll have to find some other request to annoy him with. And he will ignore me till I'm 40, no doubt. Still, thanks Paul!

Behold! The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot

It's alive... PLEASE NOTE - The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot was developed as a joke. I am not a nonce, I do not run paedofile rings. Now, onto the post... I was bored over the festive season, so I decided to do some PHP coding and make something useful. But then I made the Gary Glitter Twitter Bot instead. This all got started because I had a bout of insomnia last week, and Tweeted "I am bored". Half an hour later I noticed that I had been retweeted by some Bored Bot. This then got me thinking about what kind of Bot I would make if I had the chance? I toyed with a few ideas first (No-Pants Bot, Skinhead Bot, Rasputin Bot, Clockwork Orange Bot etc.) - before it struck me - Gary Glitter! How it works is this: Saved a Twitter search for "Gary Glitter" and pulled the results into a PHP generated page on my server: http://www.tomfogarty.com/glitterfeed.php This URL is then used with Yahoo Pipes to create an RSS feed here: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.run?_id=fd58a8756ab1250c1891fbfb0e82df74&_render=rss I then used Twitterfeed to post it through to the @garyglitterbot Twitter account. Then every half an hour it auto-searches for "Gary Glitter" tweets and copied them (5 at a time). It's not working 100% properly yet as it doesn't actually retweet the results - it just copies them and tweets (basically stealing) - although it does provide a link back the original source. Still,  it's my contribution to the world and I'm very proud. LATEST UPDATES - all bugs mentioned above are now fixed. The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot now retweets properly. "COME ON, COME ON..."

Upside Exhibition / Downside / Darkside

This is a picture of me by Paul Shinn. It was part of of a bigger picture that featured the faces of 100(?) of his other friends. Presumably, he only chose the lookers out of his 367 Facebook friends(+)... It was part of an exhibition he took part in called Upside; a collaboration between him and some other London artists, depicting that in life which makes them happy. Or some nonsense. Other contributors include Yuki Nishimura, Arina Orlova and Elli Chortara. Check out their stuff, it will do you good. Personally, I'd like to see a follow-up called Darkside, or Downside - exploring all that is rotten in the psyche of these young artists. William Burroughs once said (I think), "all true artists should be at war with the world". And this is a mindset I agree with - this is what makes me tick. I want to see what scares people and what makes them sad - it's far harder to explore what disturbs us (we are naturally drawn towards stuff that makes us happy). I made an influence map recently, and most of it is by artists who explored the darker side of life - Francis Bacon, Munch etcetera (although there's a lot of happy, camp stuff in there too).  Although I can appreciate that Picasso was good, it's only really his blue period that appeals to me, or his Weeping Woman. http://tomfogarty.com/blog/influence-map http://tomfogarty.com/blog/art Maybe this is why tattoo art appeals to me; it is reckless, stupid and brave; it borders on self-harm, and it is permanent. http://tomfogarty.com/blog/more-dogs-bites-tattoos/ Either way, I look forward to checking out their future work, and I hope they do a follow-up soon. Boom Shanka...

New Tattoos… Sort Of

I'm clearly a bloke with too much spare time on his hands this weekend (what with the snow and all) - but rather than sitting round in my pants, masturbating to Natalie Imbruglia "nip slips" - I decided to Photoshop some new tattoos on my arms. Some are real, some are not...     I'm seriously considering getting some of these done now...

New Tom Fogarty Domain

Just a quickie update today, nothing exciting. Went to see Scissor Sisters last night and had a really good time. Not going to blog about that now though, because that would be too obvious. Will do at the weekend though I'm sure. Nor am I going to  mention that I had lots of fun in Brixton on last Saturday night, oh no. What I will mention is that I managed to get my hands on the tomfogarty.com domain! Please update your bookmarks to: www.tomfogarty.com No more hyphens for me! That is all..

Bad Day at The Office

It's snowing in London at the moment and it's also bloody freezing. Needless to say I have no heating or hot water in my flat. In fact, yesterday was a pretty diabolical day all round, really. We've just moved to new premises at work, so we've had to install and set up new phone and internet lines. We're situated underneath some railway arches right next to Waterloo station, and in order to install the new lines we had to access Network Rail's "communication centre". This is no mean feat, mainly because no one at Network Rail knows where it is. Then when you find it, it's locked and no one knows who has the key. At one point there was even talk of having to go and walk along the lines and down the tunnel to get the job done. Somehow we managed to gain access; the room was large, dark and freezing cold. The BT engineer then had to go back to his van - presumably to get blankets and wood for the fire or something - and I ended being stranded there for 2 hours waiting for him. Apparently the bastard got lost. I couldn't leave the room otherwise we'd be locked out, and at one point I honestly feared that I would die in that room and I'd be found the next day; frozen like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining. I got home to find no heating or hot water, as already mentioned. I didn't know this at the time though so I ran a bath. I got in, and promptly leapt back out again, only to knock a full glass of red wine all over the bathroom floor. It looked like a scene from Psycho. I had to desperately scrub up all the wine stains like a frantic Norman Bates. Then, just to top off the day nicely, I sliced the palm of my hand open cutting up some mushrooms. A fountain of blood arced across my pizza. Lovely. To end on a bright note, here's a link to some snow pictures I took in London last year. They're in the cemetery, obviously. Snow Pictures

I Was Attacked by an Irish Wolfhound

Not had much time to post any decent blogs this week, but I've got plenty lined up in the bag... Anyway, this will tie up a couple of old posts - and I'm not making this up! Having done a bit of Googling - I can confirm that the vicious beast of a dog that savaged me a few weeks back - was an Irish Wolfhound. Very appropriate for someone called Tom Fogarty. Here are the earlier posts about the incident: http://tomfogarty.com/blog/dog-bites-full-moon/ http://tomfogarty.com/blog/more-dogs-bites-tattoos/

Third and Fourth in Google – The Power of Blogging

Got really excited this morning when I saw that I'm third and fourth in Google rankings (when searching for "Tom Fogarty"). Yesterday I was ranked at six. I'll probably drop down again tomorrow but for now I'm dead chuffed. This is probably because I've been doing a lot of blogging lately, and I seem to get quite a few hits from that. When I first started blogging my intention was to focus on technology and web development/design... but gradually it's become a channel for me to spout my nonsense!

241543903 – Tom Fogarty

Was stood up tonight, so I'm at home on a Saturday evening (until later when I'm watching the boxing down the pub). Was at a bit of a loose end so I thought I'd take a photo of my head in the freezer. This isn't quite as crazy as it sounds - if you do a Google search for "241543903" - you'll find loads of people who've done the same! The idea is to tag your freezer-head photo with that number, and Google will eventually list it. And this is my effort. Google haven't indexed it yet, but I'd probably get a higher position if I stood there in my Y-fronts. Maybe tomorrow... I'm sure you can actually see frost up my nostrils, a bit like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

Prison Tattoos (with Photoshop)

Around Xmas time last year I was playing around with Photoshop, and I put a load of tattoos on my skinny torso. This was like a blueprint of random ideas and the results can be seen below. Some of them are fake, some of them are real (and as you can see from the look on my face - tattoos really do make you happy). I was bored this evening so I did a similar thing with my left thigh. Again, some are real, some are fake...

Google Ranking Update

Today - 10th November 2010 - I'm back at the 4th & 5th spots in the Google rankings (for the search term "Tom Fogarty"). My indexing on Google has been jumping around all over the place for about the last month, so I'm quite happy about that. The 3 listings above me are all Wikipedia entries for famous Tom Fogartys, so I'm unlikely to usurp them any time soon - but I would really like to hold on to my current positions. Bet I'm relegated to page 2 again tomorrow though! Update: 12th November 2010 I'm jumping around all over the place again - I seem to get different google results in different browsers - Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome et al.

TomFOGARTY.com – Site Updates

Nothing too exciting, but I do like to report the latest site updates, yo. Left-hand menu bar. This was driving me up the wall, rendering differently in different browsers and operating systems. Tinkered with the CSS and now it looks the same in all platforms (well the ones I've tested anyway). Photos Section. Added an extra row of photos to both the Flickr and Picasa feeds. The Picasa feed still buggers up sometimes in Internet Explorer, not sure why yet - still trying to get to the bottom of it.. Blog Sidebar (right-hand side). Aligned the links with the titles and added some spacing between the main content and the sidebar. Looks neater now. Still needs some adjusting though I think. Added some photos from the Joana and The Wolf gig to this blog post (borrowed from Paul Shinn).

Happy Halloween

Being a morbid child, I always used to love Halloween. But then I grew up and got cynical, and now I don't. This year I decided to make the effort though, and it didn't involve any dressing up: Misfits CDs, bottle of red wine, ouija board, Halloween on the telly. Sorted. I bought the ouija board a few years ago, but I'd never got round to trying it out. I had originally intended to try it on acid, or while drinking absinthe - but that sounds too gothic for my liking. And as mentioned earlier, I am a cynic. The instructions on the box said it takes 2 people to get the board to work; preferably man and woman. That buggered my chances of communicating with the dead somewhat then. It also says to wait up to 5 minutes after asking your question, and try to clear your mind. "Is anybody there?", I asked in a very solemn tone, and sat patiently with my eyes closed for 5 minutes (looking like an absolute cock). Fuck all happened. Just before the 5 minutes were up the radiator made a strange creak all of a sudden, which almost made me jump 2 feet in the air. Apart from that, nothing else happened.

The Power of Christ Compels You (more dogs bites & tattoos)

This post relates to a couple of my other recent entries, so you might want to read those first if you haven't already. The first is an account of me being bitten by a dog. The second is a list of my current tattoos. Simple! A week after being bitten, my ankle still hadn't healed so I decided it was time for some affirmative action. Some people said I should have gone to the hospital to get a tetanus jab but no way, Jose! As Jesse "The Body" Ventura said on the set of Predator, "I ain't got time to bleed". Nevertheless, a week later I did start to have second thoughts. @tojofo suggested that it was because of my werewolf tattoo that the dog bit me in the first place, and this reminded me of An American Werewolf in London - "Beware the moon, lads...". It then occurred to me that a full moon was imminent that very weekend; what I would be needing wasn't a doctor, but a vicar! Or maybe a silver bullet. Wisely, I decided the best course of action was to tattoo a small crucifix on my heal - to ward off the evil forces. Or maybe it's a plague cross to let people know I'm contaminated, not too sure. As I was about to begin, a quick count revealed that this would be my thirteenth tattoo. Obviously, my thirteenth tattoo had to be a "13" so I etched that onto my thigh quickly, before doing the crucifix. A 2-for-1 tattoo deal of sorts then. Needless to say, the heal was quite painful and I messed up both of the tattoos. Still, a least I didn't turn into a werewolf or die from lockjaw, so it must have worked! Yeah, I couldn't be bothered to rotate the photos before uploading...

Joana and The Wolf

Went to see Joana and The Wolf yesterday with my friend Paul. It was at Club Ugly @ The Social (just off Oxford Street). They are a really cool band and it was a fun evening. They were supported by a band called Gilbert who were also quite interesting. Their music is a bit punky/electronic and the lyrics are quite dark, which I like. I first saw them playing at The Curzon Cinema in Soho 2 years ago and I've been a firm fan ever since (it was An American Werewolf in London on at the cinema that night..). I'm also re-designing their website for them at the moment - coming soon! In the meantime check out their songs on MySpace. And here is Gilbert's page (if you care): Here be Photos! (Courtesy of Paul Shinn -  check out his artwork here) Joana and The Wolf... Me. Looking like a "special kid" on Jim'll Fix It. Or maybe just drunk.

Bloody "Google Dance" and SEO

Been doing web design/development for a couple of years now, but only recently got interested in SEO. My aim is to get my main site (www.tom-fogarty.com) listed highly for the search term "Tom Fogarty" by Google. I'd also like to rate highly for searches for "London Web Developers" and such, but one step at a time. Now as I mentioned in an earlier post, there are some other (rather famous) Tom Fogartys around, so I'm unlikely to reach the top spot. Nevertheless, I'd like to be in the top 4. I've been posting regularly to this blog, and I get a handful of visitors every day - I've started getting comments and shares etcetera. Until recently, my main site had been stuck around the number 7 mark, then was suddenly dropped by Google altogether, in favour of my blog. This then climbed to the number 4 spot, where it stayed for a couple of weeks. Then 2 days ago my blog sub-domain was dropped altogether, and my main site fell to the bottom of page 2. Yesterday, my blog listing returned to the index, and sits just below my main site (still on page 2). Today, I find my Google Profile, MySpace and Linkedin pages all rate highly on page 1. Possibly this is due to the Google Dance. This is basically when Google re-indexes it's listings each month, and sites appear to jump around. I also realise that I need to build up some good quality links (my main site has been around for 2 years, but I've only recently started blogging to increase traffic). Is there any other advice or suggestions anyone could give? Any feedback on to improve the site is always welcome. Thanks!

Dog Bites and Full Moon

Last Saturday morning I was bitten by a dog! I had to get up early and go into work on a cold misty morning, so I wasn't in a particularly happy mood to begin with. I was on my way to the bus stop, walking past the housing estate when this big dog ran round the corner up ahead and started bounding towards me. I thought it was being playful so I leaned forward and put out my hand towards it... It didn't bite me on the hand, however. Instead it ran past me, did a U-turn, came back and sank it's teeth into the back of my ankle. The bloody brute then ran back the way it came, wagging it's tail (evidently very pleased to have mamed a friendly stranger in the street). No sign of an owner. I'm so tough that I went into work - refusing to limp - and didn't mention it to anyone. Didn't get any tetanus/rabies shots either. Tonight it's a full moon in London, and I'm quite disappointed not to have turned into a werewolf (probably means I won't be going to bed with Jenny Agutter any time soon either). Inspect the damage (one week later).

(un)Lucky Fortune Bamboo

Fortune bamboo is very easy to grow, very hardy and requires almost no care and attention; it just needs to stand in 8cm of water - out of direct sunlight. Any idiot can grow one and keep it alive. In China they are considered lucky, as they can live for over 100 years and it is almost impossible to kill them. I've had mine for 2 weeks and it died today.

My Tattoos

I've always been a big fan of tattoos. I enjoy the juxtaposition of art and seediness. I got my first tattoo when I was 18, my second at 22, but only recently have I started getting them regularly. I currently have 12, and they're all quite random. They're also pretty stupid but I don't regret any of them. You can try to rationalise tattoos - to justify your choices with personal significance ("I got an angel to represent my dead aunt who watches over me" etcetera); but at the end of the day, tattoos are impulsive, reckless foolery. And I love that. Here's a picture of each of them, with a brief description. I didn't know whether to list them in chronolgical order, or reverse chronological order etcetera... so in the end I decided to listy them in random order. This is a piece of Liam Sparkes' flash. I really like the image and it looks like the pub signpost, The Slaughtered Lamb, from the film An American Werewolf in London. My favourite song from the film's soundtrack is Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival, hence the tattoo text. The song was written by Tom Fogerty, so it seemed like fate to get the tattoo. It's underneath my right bicep. This is a Russian criminal tattoo of a black widow, by Liam Sparkes. In Russian prisons, tattoos have deep symbolic meaning, and have to be earned (tattoos = status). If you are found to have a tattoo that have not earned - they will kill you. This one either means "murderer" or "thief" (I can't remember which). I got it for shit and giggles. If I go to Russia and remove my trousers I'm a dead man! It's on the front of my right thigh. Smiley acid face. This is my second tattoo - I had it done when I was 22. I've always liked this symbol and I used to be a fan of acid during my university years. People still think this is a transfer when they see it (and I still love that reaction).  It was done by some bloke in Greenwich. The yellow is fading fast... This was an "X" inside my lip - I had it done done for a girlfriend at the London Tattoo Convention in 2008. After about 2 years it turned into a "Y". I guess that's the power of chromosomes for you. We've since split up but it's still a funny story of whim and folly. This tattoo was visible in the last photo so I might as well list it here. It's a moustache on my finger. It was done in the middle of the night - a work night I should add - by Liam Sparkes. I had it done after I shaved off my handlebar moustache. I'm not a huge Ghostbusters fan or anything, but I've always been a fan of this image. It's on my inner thigh, next to the black widow spider (quite a sore place to get done). People usually think this is the most stupid of all my tattoos.  This was also done by Liam Sparkes. A lot of the red ink fell out after it healed, needs touching up (ooh er, missus...). I did this one myself! It's very crude but I'm still proud of it. It says "CRIPS", a Los Angeles street gang. Again, it means I'm a dead man if I go there and remove my trousers. My first tattoo when I was 18 (12 years ago now!). It's a sun on my hip. I don't even notice it's there anymore - I've had it so long it feels like a birth mark I've learned to live with. Done by a big fat man in Nunhead while I was still at school. Happy days... This is taken from an old wood-cut of Vlad the Impaler (i.e Dracula). It was done by Liam Sparkes as a part barter for me setting up his website (it's sort of his trademark piece). It's on my right bicep and might be my favourite tattoo... I did this one on myself with a needle, thread and Indian ink - prison-style-eee. Took bloody ages to do and it's wonky, but I love it just the same. Nothing else to say really... This is a cat on my knee by Liam Sparkes. I love cats, me, so I had to get a cat tattoo. Because it's on my knee it gets distorted quite a bit, and it seems to have bat/rabbit ears. This one hurt. A lot. Last one (so far). Also by me, not finished yet - another Russian prison tattoo. I messed up the crown, and it needs lots of shading added. Front of left thigh. Work in progress...