Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Henry's Damn Ubuntu Review

My name is Henry the Adequate and I am a superhero.

I am also a computer genius, and a Linux Guru (notice the capitals - this denotes an official status). So, following up on my Damn Small Review, here is my review of the brilliant new Ubuntu 5.10.

Getting Ubuntu
Some long-haired hippie type comes up to me in the street and says "Ubuntu, man."

"Yeah, well, up yours too!" I respond. Jeez agressive people really are the pits.

"No, man, Ubuntu!" He hands me a CD. He must be a foreigner. Probably a spy. Hey, this might be some information about a secret Russian weapons program that he's trying to give to our government.

"Thanks, comradski." I hurry home immediately after I've finished beating the crap out of the hippie. Damn I hate foreigners.

First Impressions
The CD is round and has stuff written on it.

Hardware Configuration
So my brand new Pentium Supercomputer doesn't seem to be working that well at the moment, however some guy just gave me a Dell Poweredge 2300, which must be really good because the case is so big, and black, and 2300 is a really big number. It has some lights and buttons and things on the front, and makes a lot of noise when you turn it on.

Installation
I start the computer with the CD in (see my Damn Small Review for instructions on how to do this).

There's a pretty Ubuntu screen, then I keep hitting Enter for a while. Then I'm at this screen called "Partition Disks". There's a lot of really technical looking stuff about "Logical Volume Manager" and RAID and stuff that I won't bore you with now because I know you don't have super intellects like me, but one of the options is "Guided partitioning." That sounds good. I hit enter and I get a screen with only one option "Manually Edit Partition Table". This option takes me back to the previous screen.

My eyes start to boggle a little bit, and my head feels as though there are ants crawling around inside it. In order to relieve the tension I attack the computer for a while with a big axe.

Then some guy on IRC says "modprobe megaraid, dude". I find out his address using my super-psychic powers then go around and hack him to pieces with my axe because there's nothing more annoying than an adult who says "dude". Actually it turns out he's a kid, but what the hell.

Back home again I notice some guy has responded to the dude-saying one. "STUPID NOOB. MEGARAID IS BROKEN IN THE BREEZY KERNEL." He should show a little respect for the recently deceased, damn him. [Note to self: Seek out this Colonel dude, and find out what he knows.]

"Huh, WTF." I reply, because that's what most of the people on these forums seem to say. Not too sure what it means, but apparently it is very effective.

Some other guy who doesn't type in caps comes on and tells me that the CD I have won't work on that computer. Doesn't matter now anyway, since the computer has been smashed into tiny little pieces with a very large axe.

Conclusion
So far I have been unable to recover any espionage stuff from this "Ubuntu" CD, but as I'm sure you're all aware by now Henry the Adequate is not one to give up easily, unless I really want to.

Fortunately some guy just gave me something called a "Pentium three" so stay tuned for Henry's Damn Ubuntu Review, Part Two, "The Hippie's Revenge".

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Henry Through the Looking Glass

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

Using my mega-strength I thrust the massive door aside effortlessly. We creep into the warehouse, our senses tuned to the slightest indication of other-worldly presence. "I'm still not quite sure I get the connection, Dizzy."

"You're a moron, Henry." Louise explains helpfully, while somehow failing to shed any light on the situation.

June is even more helpful. "Um, Henry, the robotics shop, Puppeteer Joe's, and that other warehouse all belonged to the same guy - the same guy that owns this one." The other warehouse. I recall our epic battle against the forces of darkness - a battle so intense and crucial to the future of humanity that we had to do it three times.

"Uh... so this Joe Sprocket guy...".

"Yes, that's right." June nods cheerfully.

My gigantic brain goes to work on the problem, sorting and analysing all of the miniscule droplets of information as they pour in a raging torrent before my magnificent lobes. "So, what's the connection then?"

"Joe Sprocket owns all four properties."

"Surely that's just coincidence," I don't like to jump to conclusions, especially when the fate of the planet is at stake. "Anyway, there doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary here..."

Louise indicates a shimmering mass of blackness where the ceiling should be.

"... apart from the hyper-dimensional portal," I continue. I wish she would let me finish my sentences.

In that very instant several of the devil-puppets drop from the trans-dimensional portal, and we are surrounded. This is what we have been looking for, and we spring into action most active, like a well oiled well rehersed balet troupe. On either side of me June and Louise leap into the fray, deliberately isolating the nearest, from the others and driving it toward me.

I simultaneously activate my flamethrower and the rocket pack I have borrowed from June. The devil-puppet erupts in an inferno of molten fire, as I roar upward, killing the rockets a fraction of a second after activating them, sailing through the air in a tight arc and finding myself grabbing tightly to one of the ropes that held my former foe just as it is being withdrawn into the blackness of the trans-dimensional portal.

"We're running out of options Henry," I hear Louise's words again, "We need to find out what's beyond the portal." Somehow the "We" seems to have become "me". I am curious as to how this occurred, but it matters not for I am Henry the Adequate, superhero and loner, forger of my own path, bringer of density... uh... destiny, bringer of many painful beatings to the forces of badness.

And then all is liquid darkness.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Henry at June's

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I knock and wait.

"Henry, come in." June waves me to a seat in her living room. Pieces of evil puppet creature are scattered about the place.

"What have you found out?" I sit and look at the mess, my super-senses probing probingly into all of the crannies and most of the nooks. There are some nooks you really don't want to look into. Louise appears to be examining several of those as we speak. She glances up from her work and is about to say something potentially significant, but that won't happen until the next paragraph. So you should probably more on and read that right about.... now.

"Henry you moron, why didn't you show me this earlier?" Or possibly it won't be all that significant.

"Um..."

"Look at the chemical residue here."

"Hmmm," I nod knowingly as I scan the object with my super-microscopic vision. "Looks like some kind of makeup to me Dizzy."

"Not my finger you idiot," she explains considerately and patiently. "Look here..."

"Is that some sort of poison?" My hyper-microminiaturoid magnifying super-vision shows an abundance of strangely alien particles that seem vaguely familiar.

"It's the same poison as was in that pizza you didn't eat the other night."

"Yeah... didn't eat... that's right. Cause eating poison pizza would be stupid." [Note to self: destroy pizza box when I get home.]

"Did you check out the pizzeria Henry?"

"Yeah. It's gone. I went over there the other night, as soon as you guys left my place. Didn't order pizza and watch TV, or get my stomach pumped at the hospital, or anything like that. Just went straight off to check on Puppeteer Joe's."

"You mean they moved out?"

"Yes, and I may also have burned it to the ground. I don't remember."

"Damn." My sister Louise is a little upset. We both are.

"Yeah, I really liked their pizza."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Henry and The Bees Knees

It is morning. I am on my way to meet June and Louise at June's place, when I notice a lot of screaming and upsetedness coming from a small music outlet, almost drowning out the masterful sounds of Phil Collins performing "Against All Odds". Immediately I leap into action. Almost immediately. Ok, I finish eating my hotdog first, but that doesn't take long and an army marches on it's stomach, you know.

So I resolutely march into the shop and sum up the situation in an instant, or two, or a minute. A savage looking lass with jet hair and an expression that is intense and disturbing and non-crap-taking is in the process of wreaking havoc in a violent yet strangely attractive manner. A couple of what can only be described as goons stand behind her, arms crossed, looking for all the world like a couple of goons.

I am shocked at what she has done to the Phil Collins albums. Oh and also there are a couple of dead people. "Stop!" I call in my boomingest hero voice, "Put down the ball-peen hammer!"

"What," she rounds on me, the fury in her voice matched only by the soiling in my underwear, "This is not a ball-peen hammer, you moron. This is a Death Stick TI7C!" It is very impressive how she manager to maintain her intensity while spelling out a hyperlink in html. ("less than, a, href equals, quotes, http, colon" etc).

"Halt," I call bravely, "or I will be forced to use forcefulness!"

Her response is to resume smashing Phil Collins albums with reckless abandon. Actually she smashes them with a Death Stick T17C, but let's not go all picking at nits now.

"I'm warning you," I warn. As I advance on her the goons move to intercept. "My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero!"

"Well Henry the Adequate..." She has finished with all of the Phil Collins merchandise, and approaches, making sensual smashing motions with the Death Stick. "I am..." She pauses for effect. "...The Bees Knees! Ta Da!" Well ok I added the "Ta Da" because it seemed like it needed something at the end there, you know. "And this is Goonful Greg, and Tony the Goon."

"Pleased to meet you Henry." Greg extends his hand, and Tony does th same. What is going on here? Presumably they are attempting some clever ploy of some kind.

"Uh... Yeah." We shake. I am not electrocuted, or struck down unexpectedly, or attacked from behind. Strange. "So.... Where was I..... Oh...." Normally I would expect to be deep in combat by now and this is rather disconcerting. I attempt to re-concert myself, take a deep breath, and continue, "So, evil Ms Knees, you and the Goon brothers are attempting to terrorize my town..." Damn this is just not working. That didn't come out right. I seem to have lost the mood.

I close my eyes and go over the events of the last few minutes. There it is - the mood. "Ah, ha! Now I have you, evil Bees Knees, and I will end your reign of terror!" I open my eyes, prepared now for the battle that will surely follow, but they are gone.

"Bugger." Well, at least I have foiled their dastardly plan, whatever it was.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Henry's Damn Small Review

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

Now that I am also a computer expert it is only right that I share my experience with those less fortunate, who do not have access to the powers of my enormous brain. To that end I present my first distro review...

Getting Damn Small
So, some long haired hippy guy walks up to me in the street and hands me a CD and announces "Damn Small two, man. You gotta try it!"

That is a little strange because at this moment I happen to be right in the middle of a furious battle with The Robot League of Chaos - some really serious robots who ride around on giant pink rats and wreak havoc upon the innocent and unwary. But that is another story, so let's just say that somehow I escape with my life, and the CD. The hippy dude is not so lucky.

Installation

I suspect the CD contains some secret government stuff, or the cure for cancer, or possibly some really good porn, so I hurry home immediate in order to investigate. The label has some writing on it. " DSL 2.0 - Boot the computer with CD in the drive."

Now this is a bit of a problem. How do I put the CD in before starting the computer? But this is not enought to stop Henry the Adequate, superhero and computer expert. I open the case of my brand new Pentium supercomputer. Since I cannot find a screwdriver I use my angel-grinder to cut the heads off the screws.

Inside the big case is another smaller one, right where the CD goes in. I am about to cut this one open too when I notice that I have a screwdriver in my top pocket. Excellent. A minute later I have it apart. Man there's lots of pieces, but I can see where the CD is supposed to go. I drop it into place and put the thing back together. There are a few cogs and bits leftover, but this is normal.

Booting the Computer
I sit back, satisfied at a job well done. Now, what did those instructions say? Checking my notes... "Boot the computer with CD in the drive". I give it a few solid kicks, then wait a couple of minutes, however nothing useful seems to happen. Damn. Then I remember that Tim, the computer store guy, once told me "boot" means to start the computer up. Lucky I have such an incredible intellect or I might not have been able to work that out.

Anyway, I start the computer. It doesn't start up the normal way. To begin with there are some really strange grinding noises that seem to be coming from where the CD is located. Weird. Then instead of my usual startup screen I get one that says "DSL" and a whole lot of other stuff that I don't read. Weirder. I punch a few buttons, possibly including the Enter key - I'm not sure. Something is happening... I am seeing many strange and cryptic things scrolling rapidly up the screen. I almost panic and turn it back off, but Henry the Adequate is made of sterner stuff.

Using Damn Small
Soon I have a strange looking screen. It is way different to my normal Ubuntu picture, and there are lots of little pictures that are not usually there. I wonder what this secret government CD has done to my computer. There is something on the screen that says "Dillo: Getting Started With DSL". I didn't start that up myself, so it must be a virus. I close it immediately.

There is a little picture of an envelope with a globe on it. I figure this must be my email program, so start it up. The program looks different somehow, and horror of horrors - all of my email is gone and it wants me to set up a new account, as though I have never used email on this computer before.

I put these concerns to the side for now, and concentrate all of my formidable mental powers on the problem at hand. That dead hippy weirdo gave me this CD for a reason and I intend to find out what it is... Searching the screen I see a lot of little pictures, though nothing to indicate the existence of secret government labs, or the location of the Chaos Slave Lords and their evil minions. Although there is a picture of something that looks like a cross between a penguin and the Cybermen on Doctor Who. It is labelled xMMs, so it must be porn. Excellent. I shall have to take a look at that later.

Other little pictures are labelled with such cryptic titles as "Siag", "vncviewer", "RDesktop", "Xpdf", "aTerminal", "Beaver" (note to self: this may also be porn), "myDSL", "Firefox", "FLwriter", "elmFM", "axyFTP", "xpaint", and "xZGV". I try several of them but they seem to just start up normal-looking programs like spreadsheets, and word processors and stuff.

Conclusion

Installation is not for the faint-hearted. Fortunately I am a superhero of the highest order and can handle such things. At first it seems as though it has lost all of my data, but after a couple of days of using it like this I happen to restart the computer without the CD in, and everything is back to normal. That's a relief.

Unfortunately I am unable to determine the purpose of this CD, or find the secret information that must be embedded somewhere within. It seems to be just another computer operating thingy that makes computers do useful stuff. You know what I mean. One of those things. What did Tim call it?... Operating Symptom - yes that was it.

Friday, November 25, 2005

386 Horsepower Henry

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

"Hello, yeah, Tim. I've got this computer. A friend gave it to me and it is only a couple of years old but he got a new one so I'm trying to install windows on it and it doesn't seem to be working I think it is because the keyboard doesn't have enough keys." Now that I'm a computer expert I think it is about time I set up one of those internet things at home. So when my friend offered me this excellent desktop computer to go with my laptop I just leapt at the opportunity.

"Ok.... So, what kind of computer is this?" Tim the computer store guy sounds a bit confused. I feel sorry for him, but we can't all be genius superheros, now can we.

"It's kind of a beige colour, and box shaped," I explain helpfully.

"Um... Is it a Pentium three?"

"No, I only have one of them." Tim needs to learn how to listen a bit more carefully. Seriously, where did he get the strange notion that I have more than one? "Anyway I just want you to tell me what the problem is so I can get Windows installed."

"Does the computer start up at all?"

"Yes, but then it doesn't work."

"What kind of error message do you get?"

"None. It just doesn't work."

"Ok, can you tell me how old it is?"

"I don't know exactly - about two years." This sure is taking a long time. I thought these guy knew what they were doing.

"And which version of Windows are you trying to install?"

"Windows ninety-eight."

"What size is the hard drive?"

"Twenty I think."

"Twenty Gig. No problem there. What about memory? How much RAM does it have?"

"Um, it says three hundred and eighty six megabytes."

"Um... that's a strange number unless..."

"Sorry, no that's not it. It has four gigabytes of RAM."

"So where did you get the other number?"

"Oh that. It's a three hundred and eighty six horsepower Pentium computer. That's what it says on the front."

There was silence for a moment. I guess the penny has finally dropped and he has worked out a solution to my problem. "So, there was no error message from Windows, such as one telling you that Win98 requires sixteen megabytes to install?"

"Well yes it did say that."

"So, what you have, then, is a 386 with four megabytes of RAM and a twenty megabyte hard drive."

"Um... yes."

"A two year old 386?" There is a hint of extreme skepticism in his voice for some reason.

"Well it might be a bit older than that."

"You can't install Windows 98 on that machine."

"Oh.... Um.... Can't you cross-post it?" I've heard a bit about this cross-posting thing and how it is supposed to make your computer better. Yeah, sure some people seem to think cross-posting is a bad thing, but I figure they're just working for the big bad corporations. "Or what about if you fax me some more memory?"

"You mean upgrade? Yes you can. Take it to a very tall building and throw it out the window. That should do it."

"Then it will run Windows 98?"

"If you have insurance it will."

Soon I have a brand new Pentium 4 supercomputer. I am now complete.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Henry at Puppeteer Joe's

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

Puppeteer Joe's pizzeria is strangely empty. On the counter is a bell. I pound on it for a few minutes. Nothing. Behind the counter is a lot of nothingness. There is no till, no food stocks, no oven. I ring the bell some more. Damn the service here is lousy. I wander through to the back room. It is empty. I am beginning to suspect that they have packed up and left or something. Perhaps they heard that I had survived the futile attempt on my life and have fled the area. Damn, I was hungry too, and now will have to find another pizza shop.

I tune up my ultra-wave super-visual xray-vision and scan the entire building from stem to stern, but it all appears to be ship-shape, and a bottle of rum. I decide to drop the nautical expressions and look for clues. I find several scraps of paper. One has an address. My address actually. The other appears to be a recipe for some kind of explosive. Or lasagne. I'm not really sure which.

I collect a few other pieces of junk (some hand grenades, a rocket launcher, wooden body parts) and leave. I estimate, using my super time sense, and my watch, that it is just a little before dawn. My bare behind tells me that the temperature is approximately "bloody cold". Damn those hospital robes.

Disheartened and exhaused, and yet still determined to prevail, I head for home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Henry and the Hospital

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I wake in the hospital after having my stomach pumped. The doctors say I have ingested enough poison to kill six ordinary hamsters. It was a bad pizza, apparently. Who would have guessed. Maybe next time I'll try a different takeaway.

In the bed on my left is a man who claims to have been hit by shrapnel from some kind of exploding fast food. A likely story. Almost as good an excuse as the old but reliable "I slipped in the shower and accidentally sat down on the the baseball bat."

The other beds in the ward are all inhabited by burn victims. Apparently there have been a lot of fires lately.

But enough of this. I am a superhero, and there is work to be done, innocent lives to be saved. I roam the hospital corridors in search of supervillains, the air-conditioning coolly caressing my cheeks. Why do these hospital gowns hang open at the back anyway?

It appears for a moment that I have spotted an old enemy, Doctor Demento, however it turns out to be Doctor Smith. Fortunately we are in a hospital, so he receives medical attention almost immediately.

Next thing I know I've been discharged from the hospital so fast it seems as though my head might explode. Fortunately it does not - I don't think I could go through that again. Presumably the hospital realizes that with my super healing powers I no longer require their ministrations, even though I am a bit dizzy and light-headed and fall down a few times on the way out the door which does, in fact, hit me on the arse on the way out.

Time to check out that suspicious takeaway, Puppeteer Joe's Famous Pizzeria, and maybe get some delicious pizza while I'm there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Henry and the Party

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I struggle into wakefulness, strange dreams dissolving into distant memory, almost instanly alert, as my super senses warn me that something is amiss. What could have triggered such a reaction. What subtle hint impinged itself on my ultra-sensitive awareness? Perhaps it is the party raging next door.

The world spins wildly about my head as I slide out of bed, slump into the bathroom, throw up violently, shudder, then stumble out to deal with the party. The pounding outside of my head matches the pounding inside as I knock, and wait, swaying gently in the breeze.

A strange herbal smell wafts from the room, preceded by a massive blast of something akin to music, as the door is opened to reveal a black t-shirt wrapped around a guy I'm having trouble focusing on at the moment. After a second he speaks. "Man you look like shit." I am used to hearing this. Apparently people just don't get my rugged good looks. "Yeah, and maybe you should put some clothes on man."

"Music's too loud," I groan, a look of grim determination completely failing to dislodge the look of grim neardeathedness that has attached itself firmly to the front of my skull.

"Screw you!" he announces. This is starting to seem really confrontational. It seems even more so after I finish projectile vomiting all over him. I am beginning to suspect that I need medical attention, nowish.

There is only one solution to all of these problems. I reduce the house to a pile of ash that smells vaguely of charred flesh and that herbal stuff. Then I decide to fall down and pass out a little bit.

Soon I am vaguely aware of the too-familiar sound of fire engines. Paramedics cannot be far behind. Then I am aware of nothing for a while.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Henry and Louise and June

"Ok," Louise takes a deep breath and pauses for a moment, "So you searched the robotics lab and found some delivery dockets that led to the warehouse?"

"Yes that's right." I open the pizza box. This one conspicuously fails to explode, so things are definitely looking up.

"Did you find anything else at the lab?" I don't know why Louise thinks this is so significant.

"No. Some miniature robot parts, a bar fridge full... um, half full, of beer, four walls, a ceiling that appeared to be some kind of trans-dimensional portal, some calendars featuring extreme nakedness. Nothing out of the ordinary." I grab a slice of pizza and and admire it's lumpiness.

"A trans-dimensional portal?" Louise has this incredulous kind of look on her face, as though I have said something strange, or have snot hanging out of my nose. I stealthily wipe my nose on the sleeve of my super-tunic.

"Yeah, so?"

"You saw a trans-dimensional portal at the robotics lab, then when you explored the warehouse you were attacked by the puppet master."

"Yes. Haven't we already been over this?"

"Henry do you think there's some connection between the robotics guy and the puppet master."

"No. Why should there be?" I am becoming suspicious. Perhaps Louise is only pretending to cooperate with me but is really plotting behind my back. Clearly she knows something I don't about the puppet master, and the robotics lab. But what is she hiding from me? "Whate are you getting at, Dizzy?"

"Henry," she pauses to take a deep breath and bangs her head against the wall a few times. Such attempted diversions will not work with me, since I have a super-intellect. "There is a connection. The robotics guy may even be the puppet-master. If only we could get hold of one of those puppets..."

"Oh, we have one of those," June volunteers helpfully.

"You do?" Louise's expression does all sorts of interesting leaping, collapsing, and expanding things so subtle that not even my incredible brain is able to interpret them. "Show me!"

"It's at my place. There wasn't room at Henry's."

"Great, let's go." Louise leaps to her feet and drags June toward the door. "Oh, and Henry, I wouldn't eat that pizza."

I pause in the act of almost taking my first bite of the heavenly cheesy crusty stuff. "Why not?"

"Poison. Can't you smell it?"

"Oh. Bugger." I throw the poison pizza out, then grab the phone. My hunger pangs are getting pretty ferocious by this point.

"Also Henry, why don't you try a different pizza shop this time? And then maybe check out this..." She digs the box out of the bin, "... Puppeteer Joe's Famous Pizzeria. Do you think there could be some kind of connection?"

What is it with Louise and all these connections she seems to be seeing all over the place. Isn't that a sign of paranoia, or something? Well there's no use arguing with her when she gets these ideas in her head. "Ok Dizzy, I'll check it out."

After they're gone I turn the TV on and hit redial to order pizza.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Henry FAQ

Who is Henry?
Henry is this superhero guy.

Where do you get all your fantastic ideas from?
Mostly I steal them from others.

You stole my ideas. I need to send the process server. What is your address?
Um...

Why do you persist with this blasphemy when you know that the lord God almighty will surely strike you down for it?
I am going to stand next to you because I believe that your thick head will make a better conductor than mine. I expect that the thunderbolt will therefore strike you instead, and that, strangely enough, God will shrug in resigntion, mumble "Oh well, I tried." then wander off to play a game of chess with Odin, or Freya.

What DOES Henry look like?
Henry looks like a superhero.

Do you like comic books?
Well I don't take long intimate showers with them, but they're ok, I guess.

Do you believe in jebuz?
No I believe in a network of wormholes connecting different worlds via a device known as a "stargate". Next week I plan to believe in a huge space station called "Babylon 5". After that I'm not sure.

What types of special powers does our super-hero have?
Henry has many important superpowers, including the ability to extract google adsense clicks out of unsuspecting visitors with his magical hypnotic abilities. [click on the ad. click on the ad. You are feeling sleepy. click on the ad.]

Can I send you my underwear?
No. Send cash instead, then I can buy some of my own. I have always wanted underwear.

Why are you doing this?
Aliens have taken my family and will not release them unless I spread their insidious propaganda.

Seriously, why are you doing this?
I heard about "blogging" and wanted to try it out. Tried a serious topic at first, but that just didn't suit. So I invented Henry. It amuses me to write about Henry. When it ceases to amuse me I will drop Henry like an enormous turd, then sigh with the relief of somebody who has just dropped an enormous turd, wipe myself off, and find something else to do, never to be heard from again.

When Henry is home relaxing what does he do?
When he is at home he relaxes in front of a roaring fire and reads a book about chimpanzees. The same book. Every night. Henry is a slow reader.

Does he like Canadians?
Yes, Canadians make good firewood.

Can I get Henry's autograph?
Sure. You can make one yourself. Take a pen and draw a large X. Henry cannot hold a pen properly, due to an unfortunate flamethrower accident, and because he was raised by monkeys, and because he is a fictional character.

I left a comment. Why did you not reply?
There are literally millions of comments on this weblog every single day. Most of them are threatening violence, or abusive, or begging me to stop writing this, and therefore have to be deleted, which is very time consuming. Because of all my seconds being gobbled up by the giant and terrifying time-monster I am unable to answer all comments. One day I will hire a team of luscious fembots to answer the comments for me.

update (2006/02/11): I will no longer reply to anonymous comments. Well, mostly I won't.

Why did you delete my comment?
I don't like stalkers. You know who you are.

Why "Henry the Adequate"? Surely "Henry the Great", or "Henry the Magnificent" would be better.
Henry's name was given to him by his parents, and he is very sensitive about it too, thank you very much.

I just discovered a major plot inconsistency.
No you didn't. Your brain is broken. You should get it fixed. Also, that wasn't a question.

Is Henry a homosexual?
Well in one story he did own a vase, which is kind of suspicious. Also, his sister is a lesbian and as we all know homosexuality is contageous. But, no, Henry is a manly man who does manly things, and heroically saves damsels in distress.

Ok, if he's not a homosexual how come he's not having sex with any of the damsels?
It is a code of honour thing.

No, seriously, he's gay, right?
Will you cut it out with all the gay stuff. Ask me something else.

Are you gay?
That's it. I'm outa here!

Ok. Ok. Do you think Henry will ever get married?
Henry is a superhero, and does not have time for marriage and stuff. He cannot rest until evil has been destroyed utterly.

So he is gay then.
Oh sod off.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Henry and Louise - Together Again

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

"That was quick." I answer the door. "Oh, June, it's you. Come in."

"Who were you expecting, the pizza guy?"

"Yes that's right. June this is my sister Dizzy. Dizzy, June." June suddenly looks alarmed, and slightly frightened. "We're working together." Now June looks alarmed, slightly frightened, and quite confused.

"The name's Louise." Lou shoots me a look of rotten evil malevolence. It seems as though she is cranky with me about something or other.

"Henry?"

"June we can't defeat the puppet master without her." My super-sensitive super senses detect a tiny bit of tension in the room.

Fortunately at that moment the pizza arrives, which serves to diffuse the whole situation quite nicely. I pay the strange wooden looking pizza delivery guy then head back to where the women sit, silently regarding each other - June with an intense look of distrust, and Louise with an intense look of...

"Henry why is the pizza ticking?"

"Don't worry, the ad said half an hour or it's free, so that's probably an alarm that tells you when the time's up." These women worry too much. I think they need to relax, have some of the delicious smelling pizza.

"Henry you moron! It's a bomb!" Suddenly my keen sense of smell detects something other than pizza wafting from the box. There are explosives! Isn't it interesting how Louise somehow finds time to insult me, even while the last seconds of our existence tick by. Actually I detected the bomb long before Louise said anything, honest. Just didn't want to make her look bad.

We spring instantly into action, our super brains working at the speed of light, though not quite fast enough to cause my head to explode again. Thank goodness. Boy, was that a lucky escape. Anyway, Louise picks up a conveniently placed vase and hurls it with all her might at the nearest window. Almost simultaneously I throw the pizza-bomb like some delicious yet slightly unhealthy (due to it's tendency to splatter your remains all over the walls) frisbee.

The vase shatters the window as if it is made of glass, which it is, naturally enough, and a fraction of a second later the pizza-bomb sails out into the night and explodes, raining fire and shrapnel onto the street below. Some agonized screaming sounds come from outside, as though liquid fire had somehow rained down upon people, cars, and things.

"Wow. Guess I'd better order another pizza." I hit redial on the phone, not wanting to let a little thing like an assassination attempt spoil my evening.

[... to be continued]

Friday, November 18, 2005

Henry and Louise - Rendezvous part 2

...Henry," she whispers, "everybody in this place except for you and I, and that newsreader guy, is a wooden puppet. We need to leave now."

"Oh, yeah, I see. Bugger." Under normal circumstances I should have noticed, what with the strings, and the identical clothes, and the fact that they are made of wood. But these are not normal circumstances. No, clearly some kind of mind control device has been used on me.

"You ready?"

I know what we have to do now, but it always freaks me out a little. Gulp. "Yes."

Louise grabs my hand, and in an instant our powers meld and flow and multiply, so that we become more than the sum of the bits that we are made up of. I feel all of my powers amplified to the nth degree. The hunger and the urgency of her evil soul fills me with both loathing and pleasure as, hands locked, bolts of energy crackling and waving between, we stand as one and survey the area.

The sinister looking puppet creatures are also rising, except for two who seem to have got their strings tangled together. How embarassing for them. They move with relentless precision to attack us.

We glance at each other, nod, then bravely and gallantly get the hell out of there. In a blinding burst of speed we flee the devious and subtle trap that has been laid for us.


"So, Dizzy, why did you want to see me?" I pour her a strong drink.

"We have a common enemy, Henry." She tosses back the drink as though it is merely water. Actually it is merely water. Very strong water though. I should probably get some other kind of drinks. "What do you know about the puppet-master?"

"I am certain he is an evil dark lord bent on world domination!" I announce grandly.

"Well that's useful."

"What has he done to you Dizzy?" I question shrewdly. If Louise wants to play these mental games with me she will find a most worthy adversary.

"Those damn puppets raided several of my, um, businesses," she admits. Ah ha, and she thought she could cross mental swords with the grand master of brain chess himself.

"If you are referring to your robotics lab, Dizzy, that was me!" Time to press my advantage in this little game of the Chinese roulette standoff game.

"I don't have a robotics lab Henry you moron. Tell me what you know."

"I know that if we order pizza before six oclock it is half price." Always keep your opponent off balance - that's my motto. Well that and "Never eat the last bit of peanut butter in the bottom of the jar". Also, "Evil-doing is bad for your karmic stuff, so be good instead." I have a lot of mottos.

We order pizza.

[To be continued, Maybe]

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Questions?

Questions about Henry can be asked here. Acceptable questions can include such things as "Who is Henry?", "Where is Henry?", "Why does he wear his underwear on the outside?", "What does Henry look like?", "Where can I send cash?" and "Damn you're handsome, can I have your autograph?".

Marriage proposals are right out, especially if they're from guys.

Questions asked here will (probably) not be answered here. Instead I will eventually compile a Henry FAQ - a massive misnomer since it will not consist of the most frequently asked questions at all, but will instead contain a whole heap of stuff I made up myself (such as the questions above) and possibly one or two of yours. That's assuming I get one or two questions. Or any.

Henry did not write this.

Henry and Louise - Rendezvous

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

"Henry, we need to talk. Meet me at the coffee shop."

"Dizzy is that you?" Why is my evil sister calling me now? What insidious plot is she plotting in that devious head.

"Don't call me Dizzy!" She hangs up with a slight hint of major annoyance.


I scan the coffee shop, but can tell immediately that my sister is not yet here because men are paying attention to their friends and/or partners. This doesn't happen when Louise is around. I never really got what it is about her - perhaps it is the allure of evilness. Either that or the semi-nakedness. One of those.

The place is reasonably crowded. Knowing my sister as I do some of them will be her slave minions disguised as normal lowlife plebes, just like those all around me. I scan for clues using my ultra-wave monstro-detector xray-vision. My attention is drawn abruptly to a strange wooden-looking man sitting at a corner table.

My senses tingling with furious anticipation, I leap to my feet and march purposefully toward him, priming my flamethrower and preparing to incinerate the foul puppet-monster. This time I shall prevail. This time I will not be beat to a bloody pulp. This time I notice that he is not a wooden emotionless puppet, but instead is a newsreader from the local television station. Clearly this is a mistake anyone could have made. Nevertheless I am slightly embarassed as I return to my seat.

I am about to avoid embarassment by burning the coffee shop to the ground when all conversation stops and an eerie silence descends on the place. This can mean only one thing.

"Dizzy, what's going on?" I can tell from the direction of various longing stares that she is standing behind me.

"Henry you moron, what the hell do you think you're doing?" She hisses almost-silently into my ear as though I have just made some colossal mistake. This is impossible, since I have used all of my super observational powers, all of my magnificent brain powers, and much extreme caution in my approach to this situation.

"What? And speak up! I can hardly hear you."

"Henry," she whispers, "everybody in this place except for you and I, and that newsreader guy, is a wooden puppet. We need to leave now."

"Oh, yeah, I see. Bugger."

[... to be continued]

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Henry at the Bank

"My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero!"

"How can I help you Henry," the bank person smiles with genuine warmth, as though she really wants to help me.

"Two days ago I accidentally left my card here. I have come to collect it."

"Ah, well any cards that are left for more than twenty-four hours are destroyed, and a new card issued. You should receive it in two to three weeks." The bank person smiles with genuine warmth, as though she really wants to help me, but won't. Clearly she enjoys moments like these.

"But how will I get money?"

The bank person smiles with genuine warmth, as though she really wants to help me, but just does not see what the problem is. "I'm sure you'll think of something."

I am beginning to feel a tiny bit upset. These kind of situations are awkward, and difficult, and embarassing, and infuriating, and cryptic. In order to avoid a confrontation I burn the bank to the ground, then rescue customers and staff from the burning building. A superhero, after all, must protect the innocent. Some of them are very grateful, and I collect several thousand dollars in rewards.

It's funny how things work out sometimes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Henry and the Warehouse - Take 3

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

Warehouses are boring. I go to the pub instead. "Got this scar fighting a giant chicken!" I slur charmingly at some random young lady. She leaves in a hurry. Perhaps I should begin by showing scars that are not normally covered by underwear.

Some guys are trying to start a fight, claiming I said or did or showed something to their girlfriends. I have no idea what they are talking about. Perhaps they mistake me for another superhero. I cleverly avoid a confrontation by burning the pub to the ground. This is ok, because there are plenty more pubs.

Now it is morning. I wake in bed, with extreme pain in my nether regions. Note to self: Next time you go out drinking if there is any chance whatsoever that you will be playing the Light Your Fart game, please disable flamethrower first.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Henry and the Warehouse - Take 2

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

"Looks like this place was cleaned out in a hurry." June digs into a jumble of packing crates and boxes. "The robotics guy had some pretty heavy machinery delivered here, according to the invoices. Surely they can't have removed it all in only a few hours..."

I survey the abandoned warehouse with my ultra-xray vision. "Hmmm. Strange stress fractures in various parts of the structure, and..." BANG. CRASH. "Ow!... I'm ok.... Ugh..." I struggle to my feet, throwing crates in all directions, stand swaying gently in the complete lack of breeze, and squint with much deliberateness at the area, trying to focus my mega-xray vision for another pass. Maybe I should not have tested quite so much of that potential evidence.

There are also signs of warping in the ceiling, as though some kind of hyperdimensional portal had been opened there. Although that could also be me, since at this moment most of the world appears to be warped, and shimmers before me like one of those shimmering things in the desert.

"Ah, ha!" June is holding up some metallic bits as though they are somehow significant.

Suddenly I realize that something is wrong. Seriously wrong. Desperately wrong. This may mean the end of all good things. Armageddon approaches. Our doom is at hand. "June, we've got to get out of here!" My voice carries the blind terror that is screaming through my brain at this moment. It wails with all the super-pent-up frustration and despair of my epic battle against the forces of darkness. How could I allow it to come to this? I have been so blind. Also, slightly drunk.

"Why? What..." June displays a shocked lack of comprehension, as she spins about in a hopeless attempt to see what concerns me so. I do wish she would stop spinning like that.

Then my worst fears are realized, as several life-sized puppet creatures drop from shimmering black nothingnesses in the ceiling, and charge like demented thunderbirds straight for our position.

"Don't worry Henry!" June shouts bravely. A massive jet of flame errupts from her backpack and she is flung with tremendous force in an upward direction. Apparently she now has some rockets in her rocket-pack. She bounces off the ceiling, veers sharply to the left, and crashes into the far wall. Perhaps some kind of guidance mechanism might have been a good idea.

Meanwhile I am busy violently pummeling the puppets' fists with my face, while at the same time attempting to bring my flamethrower to bear. Since they appear to be wooden I have high hopes for this manoeuvre. Although the getting my face beat on part of the plan appears to be going very well indeed, it does seem to be interferring with my turning the puppets into smouldering piles of ash, which was supposed to be the whole crux of the thing.

June is still bouncing off walls, ceiling, floor, and everything in between. I am still being beaten to a bloody pulp. And this is still not very funny. In a sad and desperate attempt to increase the levity I turn to run, step on a banana peel, and slide half way accross the floor before ending up face-first in a conveniently placed pile of mud. This is not funny either, but does at least interrupt for a moment the violent pounding I have been receiving. But only for a moment. The beating resumes.

June roars by overhead and slams into the wall once more, however in a moment of extreme good fortune the flames from her rocket pack manage to burn through the strings that control two of the puppets. The third is suddenly pulled back through the transdimensional portal, and we are alone. After only a few more minutes June's rocket splutters and dies, its fuel cells exhausted.

We drag ourselves, one of the puppets, and a pile of scrap back to my place. "So," June winces with the pain of speech, "was that better?"

"It was slightly funny, I suppose." I can only see through one eye, and my head is ringing like a mormon who just won't go away.

"Want to try again?"

"Hell no."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Henry and the Warehouse

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

"Looks like this place was cleaned out in a hurry." June digs into a jumble of packing crates and boxes. "The robotics guy had some pretty heavy machinery delivered here, according to the invoices. Surely they can't have removed it all in only a few hours..."

I survey the abandoned warehouse with my ultra-xray vision. "Hmmm. Strange stress fractures in various parts of the structure." There are also signs of warping in the ceiling, as though some kind of hyperdimensional portal had been opened there.

"Ah, ha!" June is holding up some metallic bits as though they are somehow significant.

Suddenly I realize that something is wrong. Seriously wrong. Desperately wrong. This may mean the end of all good things. Armageddon approaches. Our doom is at hand. "June, we've got to get out of here!" My voice carries the blind terror that is screaming through my brain at this moment. It wails with all the super-pent-up frustration and despair of my epic battle against the forces of darkness. How could I allow it to come to this? I have been so blind.

"Why? What..." June displays a shocked lack of comprehension, as she spins about in a hopeless attempt to see what concerns me so.

"This scene is not even slightly funny! Let's get the hell out of here!"

So we leave. June tells some poo jokes to try and cheer me up, but it is no good. I scream my failure to an unforgiving world. Sorry.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Henry and June Investigate

"Will you stop looking at me like that. I was having a dream, dammit."

"Sorry. Here it is. Sprocket's Robotics."

I tear the door off and we enter. "The robot I fought couldn't fit in here." It is a small store, with a workshop attached. It is also kind of noisy, with a weeee oooo weee ooo sound screeching and tearing at my hyper-sensitive eardrums. I wonder if there might have been some kind of alarm system attached to the door. "I'll check out the workshop. You look for clues here."

"Sure."

The long walls of the workshop have wide benches stacked with various tools and instruments, and robotic toys in varies stages of disrepair. At the far end is a beer fridge stocked with beer. I drink several, just to make sure they really are what they seem. You can't be too careful in the superhero trade. To emphasize this point I tip a box of parts onto the floor and fill it with alleged beer, for later testing.

I examine several of the robots but none of them attempt to crush me beneath their feet, or claw out my eyes, or make me their sex slave. [note to self: don't type that last bit]

The walls are busy with posters, circuit diagrams, and calendars featuring the kind of things that are usually featured in workshop calendars. One or two of these fall into my box of alleged beer. There is no ceiling, but instead a formless shimmering mass of nothingness that looks remarkably like a portal to another dimension. Or what I imagine one of those would look like. I wander back out to the store to see how June is doing with her investigations.

"Did you find anything Henry?" She is seated at a large, untidy desk, examining an invoice book, and a pile of delivery dockets.

"Nothing unusual. Though I do have this box of potentially incriminating evidence to examine." I quickly flip one of the calendars over so it is face-down. "We'd better get out of here before somebody notices the alarm. "

"Ok. Think I've photocopied most of the interesting stuff anyway." She shoves a pile of papers into her backpack and we head for the exit. "Your place, later?"

"Yeah, come about nine." We split up. On the way home I discover that several more of the bottles do indeed contain beer. Maybe I should have told June to come around after lunch. Mmm food. I stop for a kebab.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Clueful June

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I struggle into wakefulness, strange dreams dissolving into distant memory, almost instanly alert, as my super senses warn me that something is amiss. What could have triggered such a reaction. What subtle hint impinged itself on my ultra-sensitive awareness?

"Huh..." I mumble as I slump into the bathroom and relieve myself. I am on my way back to bed when I notice that somebody is pounding incessantly on my door. "Bugger." I suppose I had better answer it. My brain feels fuzzy. "June?"

"Henry! I've found a clue!" June seems to love exclamation points. At this time of the morning though I feel they are inappropriate. Maybe that's just me. I also don't like cats, or dogs. Actually I'm not keen on the letter 'K' either. And that nooth-grush on my toothbrush, well I wish he wasn't there. But the neps on the steps they're great fun to have around... "Henry?!"

"Sorry, what?" It seems she has been talking at me.

"Henry I found a guy who makes robotic dinosaurs - ok not normally giant ones - but anyway he's got this website and I saw a picture of one that looked just like the one you fought, only much smaller and I think we should go and check it out, right now!"

"Uh.... Let me get dressed." I am almost fully conscious now, and can't help noticing that I am in fact fully naked.

"So," remarks June as we are heading out the door, "were you having a dream, or are you just happy to see me?"

If I try really hard I am certain I can think of some more ways to humiliate and embarass myself.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Henry at the Supermarket

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I am at the supermarket. There is a line. After a while I notice that the line is not moving. Then I notice that there appear to be several persons at the register waving guns about and suggesting that everybody might like to lie on the ground please.

Fools. I will fry them with my embedded flamethrower... but I cannot user it here, indoors, with all these innocent bystanders about. Also, that thing really really hurts.

I am furiously considering my next move, while being careful not to think too hard lest my brain explode, when I recognize the person ahead of me in the line. "Louise!" What is my evil sister doing here? "So, these are your slave minions!"

"Jeez shut up Henry you moron." She lowers herself to the ground along with all the other customers. Perhaps the villains are not her slaves after all. I notice that I am the only one left standing, and that two of the bandits approach, looking slightly miffed.

"Down!" one of them insists, waving his gun in my face. I notice that there is something strange about them. There is something unnatural about their expressions, their tone of voice, their movements. Can't quite place it. Then I notice that his shotgun has impacted quite heavily the side of my head.

Then I notice that I am lying on the ground and that the bandits are raiding all of the registers. Some are also robbing the customers. No mere mortal should have been able to lay me out like that. I am certain he must be on some kind of super-strength-enhancing drugs or something.

"Drugs, Henry? Are you out of your mind?" Louise is nearby. Apparently she heard me dictating these notes. "They're puppets."

"Ok, yeah, sure they're not working alone." What is Louise getting at?

"Puppets Henry. They are made of wood. Their faces are painted on. They have strings. Look!"

Maybe she has a point of some kind. "Yeah, I was going to say that." Now that I mention it they do look kind of weird, what with the puppet strings that rise above them for a couple of meters, then disappear into a large portal-like object above their heads - as though the puppets are being controlled via some weird trans-dimensional means. Also their "guns" are more club-like than anything else.

I leap heroically to my feet. This looks like a job for Henry the Adequate, superhero. Valiantly I charge the closest puppet-bandit and swing with all the power of my cyber-enhanced muscles. It is like punching a tree, except that when I do that the tree falls down. My fist is in all kinds of pain at this moment.

The humanoid techno-gadget sneers at me. Well, no it doesn't, on account of being made of wood and not capable of facial expressions. However it's fixed, emotionless, crudely painted features suddenly look as though they really want to be sneering. It attacks.

I dodge and weave, using all of my superior reflexes, avoiding fists, feet, and clubs with ease due to my incredible super speed and power. Nobody can touch me. I am invincible!

A lucky blow and I am hurled accross the room like something that is very easy to hurl accross a room, slamming head first into the far wall. Ok, maybe I am slightly vincible. In fact I may have just been vinced, for the moment at least.

"I will destroy you all, wooden puppet fiends!" I leap to my feet. Ok, so I lie in a crumpled heap and think about leaping to my feet. I scowl menacingly at them as the mechanoidal bandits soon leave unopposed with cash and valuables.

Soon there are paramedics in their nice white shirts.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Henry Rides Again

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

Today I helped an old lady, three school children, a postman, several watermelons, and George W Bush to cross the street. None of them were very happy about it, except for GWB - he completely failed to notice that anything had happened - but I am Henry the Adequate, dammit, and helping is what I do. Hell, since my recent brush with death I am the new, improved, more serious, less shit-taking, Henry the Adequate. I am determined to prevail in all things!

Today I also took an assertiveness training course. It was neat. Tomorrow I'm thinking about pottery. Or maybe origami.

How to Read Henry

This post is always at the top of the page, due to an excellent idea I just had (ok stole from another blogger user). See, it's dated in the future. [UPDATE: no it isn't dated in the future, and no it doesn't stay at the top any more. I changed my mind.]

Anyway, Henry the Adequate is an ongoing story, so if you start with the latest post you'll be reading it in reverse. While I truly respect anyone who can read the whole of Henry in reverse, it is probably a better idea to read from the beginning. It may make more sense that way, although this is by no means certain.

The story begins in September of 2005. See the "Archives" section in the right hand column. Although, admittedly, much of the early stuff is crap, you should read it anyway. Much of the later stuff may also be crap, particularly if you're hung up on ideas like plot, characterization, theme, and competent writing. Otherwise, enjoy.

Henry did not write this.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Henry and the Street Preacher

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

The street-preacher raises his fist to the heavens and proclaims in a powerful booming yet somehow slightly effeminate voice "I believe it's self deception to think I really NEED a man or a woman, she-he, he-she, genitalia, a plant, a molecule, or any circumstances to make me content. God is a desperate hope to escape the thermodynamic bondage of a dying universe!"

My magnificent brain suddenly snaps into a condition of red alert. Bondage! This surely must have something to do with Dizzy Louise, the evil she-devil sister of mine whom I have sworn to defeat, and her slavish minions. I wait for the the wise man to continue.

"I usually sense lemming social peer pressure and do the opposite, but I haven't embraced the foolishness of contrarianism."

Ummmm... This must be some kind of code. I wonder if lemmings are into bondage.

"Take fond interest in whatever the culture or sub-cultures mock or slander, because if there is light in truth, then surely there is darkness in mocking and slander!"

Mocking and slander. Yes this sounds like my sister alright. That evil witch is always saying mean things about me.

"I smile real big when I see two otters playing in the river. One time in Maui, when I was underwater, I screamed into my snorkel in delight when I saw a huge sea turtle swimming next to a school of fish. Further, I'm aloof, ambiguous, green eyed, XY, musically inclined."

Uh... Screamed in delight... Is this more bondage?... And what do the otters represent? Sea turtle and a school of fish... Louise and her slaves?... or maybe... or perhaps... I force myself into a hyper-trance state in which my supercharged mind thrashes about like a fish caught in the frenetic dance of survival and extinction, every neurone loaded beyond the capacity of a mere mortal, synapses firing at a rate which threatens to distort the fabric of the universe itself. I sense that the answer is near, and push my straining intellect just that little bit further...

Suddenly my brain explodes, and my lifeless, and headless, body collapses to the pavement. Dead. And that is the end of Henry the Adequate. Forever. There will be absolutely no more stories. Ever. It's been fun. Goodbye.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Henry Lives!

Henry and the Ongoing Miss Stanley Investigation

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I knock on the door and amuse myself while waiting by scanning the area for signs of evil. One of the neighbours has a lifesized replica of George Bush version 1.0 in their bedroom. I think maybe this qualifies.

"Yes?"

"Ah, miss Stanley I presume... " Then my brain begins to reel slightly from surprise, but only slightly since I have a stupendous intellect, "June! What are you doing here?"

"I live here Henry. What's up?"

"I'm looking for one Miss Stanley in connection with a very serious matter," I announce importantly and with much importance, "Do you know a Miss Stanley?"

"I do, or rather, I am. Henry I am June Stanley, but you can call me Helpful June!"

"June, ah..."

"Come in Henry. How can I help." We sit at the table in her small flat. She makes tea. The tea is bordering on Ok, but could be better.

"So," I begin, "What can you tell me about the evil slave masters and their connection with my sister, the nameless one."

"I thought your sister's name was Louise."

" Ok so she's not entirely nameless." I easily sidestep June's attempt to sidetrack me in a sideways kind of fashion. Did she think she could evade my enormous brain so easily? It is not merely by my bulging muscles and imposing physique that I am made super, and June of all people should be aware of this. I am disappointed. "What can you tell me about the slave masters?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing?"

"But I did find out some really useful information about giant chickens... even though you killed the only one of them we've ever seen... so that might not be very useful, really... um... Would you like some gummi bears?"

"Ah." I am fast running out of Miss Stanleys, and do not seem any closer to the clues I so desperately need. Ok, not desperately. I am, after all, Henry the Adequate, superhero, and have been in many tighter scrapes than this and have always prevalied - much like Buffy actually. Hmmm, wonder if there is any Buffy on TV tonight. Damn, look at the time. I'd better wrap this up because there's a lot of really important, um, "research" to be done. "Well, anyway, thanks. Thanks for the tea. I must leave now. Evil awaits."

"But Henry, I can help. Really I've been practicing very hard and am getting more super every day. Why just this morning I almost foiled a bank robbery. The police were not very kind about it, but without me things would have been much worse. Anyway, the police car was parked illegally. How was I to know they were on a stakeout? Henry? Where are you going? Henry! I want to be your sidekick!"

"Uh, yeah, I'll call you."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Henry's Day Off

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

Today is Sunday, and I have decided to take the day off. Though I know that evil never rests there comes a time when even a superhero as powerful and resilient as myself must cast aside the burden of ultimate responsibility for a while. Also, there is cricket.

Since it is my day off I leave my superhero boxers at home and instead don a large floppy hat.

"Lillee Lillee," I chant as some guy runs in to bowl to some other guy. I am so into cricket. I drink beer from a styrofoam cup and try to look like just another cricket yobbo. There's nothing more embarassing than having to sign lots of autographs on your day off... except possibly not having to sign any autographs - yes I am a master of disguise, but surely somebody recognizes me. Dammit.

But wait. My finely tuned super-senses detect that something is wrong. The people around me seem agitated somehow, and a few are screaming in panic and gesticulating wildly in the direction of the pitch. Of course. I realize what it is now. "That was not out!" I shout at the umpire.

There is some kind of commotion going on among the crowd on the other side of the stadium. Probably a reaction to the bad umpiring decision.

"What is it!" somebody shouts from behind me. People should be more considerate - doesn't he know I have super-hearing?

There seems to be some kind of hold-up in the game. Players are leaving the field in a bit of a hurry, and police seem to be running in the opposite direction - toward the disturbance in the crowd. I decide to start up a chant to amuse the other patrons. "Why are we waiting! Why are we waiting!"

"It... it looks like a dinosaur!" comes another voice, also rather loud. What is it with these people. Here I am, just trying to have a nice relaxing day off at the cricket and...

Suddenly my super-magnifying hyper-xray-vision hones in on the source of the disturbance on the other side of the stadium. It appears to be some kind of giant robotic dinosaur. I hurriedly grab my boxers and superhero mask from my pocket and pull them on so swiftly that no normal eye could follow.

I have been waiting for some time to come up against the robo-dinosaur again, having determined that it's escape last time was achieved via quantum fluctuations in the space-time continuum. This time, however, I will be ready. For I have invented a new quantum defluctualizer that will keep the creature anchored in the current space-time long enough for me to destroy it. No random vortices will save the monster now!

I head for the fray at super-speed, leaving cries of "Who was that masked man, and why is he wearing his boxers on the outside" in my wake. Close enought now, I activate the defluctulalizer, and pause briefly to observe the results. The creature bellows furiously, stomps on a few random cricket supporters, and charges directly for me, as though somehow drawn to my super-poweredness.

I run out onto the field, in order to draw the dino-monster away from the innocent plebes. Then there is a strangeness, and all seems somehow slow, as though we are moving through a large pile of dinosaur manure (note to self: get some better metaphors). The stadium wobbles about me and disappears. I am on a wide plane. There is no vegetation. The ground is slightly spongy. There is the giant robotic dinosaur, still charging directly toward me, its jaws gaping in a protracted roar of furious fury.

I dodge left, leap over its wildly slashing tail, my mind racing, formidable mental gears churning in an attempt to analyse this strange turn of events. Close enough, and I activate my flamethrower that is embedded in my wrist. The device howls, its tongue of liquid fire splashing against the body of the mechanosaur with little effect. I howl, my nerve endings screaming through a thousand degrees of agony. As waves and waves of intense pain crash against my brain I realize again that the human body - even a super one - was not designed to house a flamethrower.

I am in flight now, knowing that at this moment I cannot defeat the beast, and knowing not how I got here, and wondering if this will be the end of the line for Henry the Adequate, superhero. The beast is closing. I watch as it's massive foot pauses above and then plunges toward me. In desparation I punch the controls of my flamethrower, but it is exhausted. However in the process I accidentally deactivate the quantum defluctualizer.

Suddenly I am back at the cricket, and the giant robotic dinosaur is not. I think maybe the defluctualizer needs a bit more work. Then I think nothing at all, as the searing pain in my arm causes me to pass out.

I dream of pizza.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Henry the Shadow - part 2

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I drag the evil minion down into the basement and chain him to the wall. I don't have any real chains, so I make him promise not to leave.

"So, minion of evil, you will now tell me everything you know!" I menace him with my embedded flamethrower. He says nothing, just glares at me in an attempt to appear brave. Fool. I can see the panic in his eyes, hear the rapid beating of his pulse, and smell the fear that he projects from every fibre of his beingness. "Do not resist me, worm. I know your mistress, and I will not rest until I have defeated her."

"You know miss Stanley?" He appears surprised.

"Do not trifle with me. I refer of course to my evil sister, Louise, aka Dizzy, aka The Evil One. You must tell me of her plans." I lean in close and place the barrel of my flamethrower against his temple. "Make no mistake," I menace, playing menacingly with the hair-trigger...

"Oh bugger," I say, as the flamethrower embedded in my forearm roars to life and reduces him to a pile of ash. Looks like I'm going to need another evil minion.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Henry the Shadow

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

I stalk my prey. I am an expert stalker, due not only to my super speed and agility, but also to my ability to blend into the background and to move silently except for the sound of me dictating these notes. I stalk like a particularly talkitive cat.

Anyway, I keep to the shadows. I am the shadow incarnate, the uber-shadow. My shadowness knows no bounds. The quarry is utterly unaware of me as I slide effortlessly through the darkness. My super-stealth powers cloak me in such a shroud of mystery, the reader does not even notice that I have copied the last couple of paragraphs from a previous story.

But this time I do not reveal myself so readily. The quarry enters a run-down looking warehouse, sliding the masive door just wide enough for his passage, then allowing it to slam home behind. Like a shot it echoes through the deserted street. I approach and open the door a crack.

He is speaking with somebody. The other shifts, and a shaft of light strikes her perfect features... Louise, my evil sister!

I can hear little of their conversation, even with my highly tuned senses. There are a few words... robot... river... ready... Perhaps they are practicing alliteration. There may also have been mention of Gummi Bears. I am uncertain.

Then it is over and my sister gone, presumably through another entrance. The minion approaches. As he slides open the door I step forward, taking him completely by surprise, and knock him out with one blow from my mighty fist. I will take him back to my lair, and find out what he knows...

[to be continued]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Henry gets Spiritual

[This post refers to Henry in Research Mode, and Henry Questions Miss Stanley, and possibly Uncle Frank ]

The next address is a run down looking hall. I enter, and survey the area. A small crowd has assembled. They sit on mats on the floor. Some have bean-bags. A large man at the front of the group, who may be their leader, sees me and waves me over.

"Om Mani Padma Hum boys and girls. Welcome to our Erehwon Road retreat. I am the Grand Surveyor"

"Uncle Frank? What are you doing here?" Last I heard my uncle Frank had been locked away somewhere nice and comfortable, and quiet, with soft walls, and friendly people to look after him.

"Sacred Cows make the best hamburger, Henry" His eyes glow with pios self-knowledge, or possibly gleam with insanity. At this point I am not certain.

"Uh, so, Uncle Frank, I am looking for Miss Stanley." I will not be distracted from my mission.

"That is I," he announces, and raises his arms to the heavens as though bestowing a blessing on all present.

At this point I am beginning to lean toward the "gleam of insanity" theory. "Why are you calling yourself Miss Stanley, uncle Frank?"

"Because I do miss Stanley. For the great profit Stanley did come down from the heavens and bestow upon his people the fifedom of the fragmentation! And all was well in the garden of Mandelbrot for a time. And then he was gone, and there was much sorrow. Also Henry, never sit in the front pew...there are no barf bags."

"I see." It is becoming apparent that I will not find my answers here,
although the barf bag advice will no doubt prove useful. "Well, uncle Frank, it's good to see you're feeling better and no longer think you're a poodle, but I have important criminal masterminds to aprehend, so now I must be leaving."

"Woof."