Christmas Ghost Stories: A Strange Christmas Game by J. H. Riddle

A Christmas Game

Why didn’t Santa ever bring me THIS????

Today’s installment of our Christmas Ghost Story Series, A Strange Christmas Game by J.H. Riddle, comes to us as a YouTube reading (audio only) for your enjoyment while pottering about the room dusting or drinking or knitting or doing whatever you like to do behind closed doors in the presence of a YouTube video narrated by a fellow with a colorful British Isles accent from god knows where.

This particular story has a particularly romantic context, with young, attractive poor people coming into sudden wealth, and an evil that endures beyond the grave threatening their happiness. Along with a super passive-aggressive relative. Enjoy!

Of course, Elf Bowling is the actual REAL best Christmas game, but there are no ghosts in it. Elf Bowling 2 was pretty rad too!

Spreaker of the House: introducing The Cryptosphere on AnonUKRadio

The Cryptosphere

The Cryptosphere

I’m a bit behind on my publicity stunting for my new news site TheCryptosphere, but here’s some! I know!!! Aren’t you excited?

Last week, which is to say July 6, 2014, I appeared as a guest on Topman‘s AnonUK radio show, which (particularly since Lorax got v&) is one of the most popular Anonymous podcasts in the world. Here’s their YouTube introduction to the concept of Anonymous itself:

And here is the podcast, featuring moi, Sue Crabtree of FreeAnonsd00minator, and more:


Two Christmas Stories

Darwin and Charlie Brown

Darwin and Charlie Brown

It’s a Christmas Tradition on the ol’ raincoaster blog to re-post this, the greatest Christmas story ever told (sorry, Jesus!): A Christmas Story, by Sarban. It is long, but if I can spend several hours typing it in, you can take an hour or less to read it. I recommend accompanying it with a bottle of Zubrowka and a box of Kleenex.

UPDATE: here is a link to the story that actually WORKS!

A Christmas Story
By Sarban (John W. Wall)

I will tell you a Christmas story. I will tell it as Alexander Andreievitch Masseyev told it me in his little house outside the walls of Jedda years ago one hot, damp Christmas Eve….

For our second selection, we have the entirely awesome Simon Callow reading one of Charles Dickins’ non-cloying stories, “The Christmas Tree,” a marvellous, metaphorical memoir. I’ve stolen this one from the Guardian.



Drive In Reality Theatre Peace Arch Crossing

Drive In Reality Theatre Peace Arch Crossing


Pretty nifty art, eh? Find out more about it at Wired. I think I liked it better when I thought it was a drive-in screen, but maybe I was just ….


Oh, if only my old computer George were still with us! Truly should George’s passage be mourned throughout the interwebs, for upon George is the only copy I have of one of my best short stories, one that would be a perfect addendum to this post, about a middling hypnotist who gets to do his routine in front of a very posh crowd for once in his life, slightly overreaches, and accidentally drives the entire group of Bilderbergers irrevocably insane.


As a replacement, please enjoy listening to this audiorecording of the somewhat absurd and extremely creepy Sticks, the only short story of Karl Edward Wagner‘s that I ever really liked (nice guy, but better editor than writer). Best listened to by candlelight, in a remote cabin in the woods.

Audio via

Playing with the Stones

Image by raymond_zoller via Flickr

Bear with me, because I’m going to be tinkering. This entire post is going to be tinkering with the audio player at WordPress and seeing if I can get the Telephone Your Blog thingy to accept mp3’s, which would be a nifty trick indeedy. So, like I said, bear with me.

First attempt: Bog standard WP audioplayer with hotlinked mp3 from the Guardian’s piece on lithophones, computer-enhanced xylophones made out of the stones of the Lake District. This would be, I suppose, that upon which the Druids rocked out.

Okie dokey, it appears the Guardian podcasts allow hotlinking. Booya!

Now on to test the Telephone Your Blog thingy with a downloaded and uploaded via telephone mp3; the same one, because yea, I am very lazy.

So now, I have to save the mp3 to my hard drive, then I open Skype because the office phone won’t make a long-distance call and I still don’t have a cellphone and wouldn’t use the minutes on it for this even if I did, and I dial the number and punch in the code (how does one do that on Skype? Guess I’ll find out) and then I somehow play the mp3 into the headset which would be much easier with a proper mic and not just the headphones propped up against a hardcover of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince so the mic hovers around one of the speakers. At least, I THINK that’s the speaker; it might be an air vent or, more likely for Eve here (that’s my computer) an inlet to allow the gin in on those rare occasions it doesn’t make it from the glass into my mouth with the precision one hopes, but has no right to expect, it would after two already and where was I? Right, Harry Potter and the Lithophones of the Lakes. I’d better bring up an mp3 player, too, hadn’t I? I’ll take a flyer on Windows Media Player, because Zune and iTunes kill the speed on this computer. Wish me luck; did I say that already?

Oh, I’m gonna fart. PAUSE. Oh, it wants to tell me something. Apparently xvidcore.dll cannot be found. Well, that’s great, because I wasn’t looking for it in the first place.

Okay, so here’s what happened. I got Skype to open, and got it to call the blog. Then I input my code and started jabbering, which you can hear above. It appears that as soon as I took my earphone jack out of the computer and double-clicked the mp3 to play it, Skype crashed. That’s probably because, instead of Windows Media Player, which I had open and wanted to play it on, the darn thing opened Zune, which is huge and baroque and always kills things on my computer and causes the fan to go into classic silent-film-worthy conippification fits. So. Must find small, slick, non-interferesome mp3 player OR load the puppy into something I can play on the stereo while running Skype on the computer.

The life of a worker-arounder is not a restful one.

Oh, and then I had to go in and steal the telephoned/Skyped mp3 from the standalone post it automatically made called Audio Post and put it here. And now I think I’m going to go off and read Harry Potter and ponder some more.