Furries

25 02 2013

Despite having drawn and written about Wolfie since 1986, I had no idea what Furries were until much later.

I had been bumbling around with computers for some time, I began with an Amstrad CPC6128 which Mum bought for my 21st Birthday, Yes it was a computer, but I could do very little with it, and feel that I should have asked for a really good camera instead or a hot guitar with lessons perhaps?

Then came the Amiga A500 and the Amiga A1200.

I had been messing around with a scanner, which was horribly expensive at the time and was something I should probably not have bought since I got very little use out of it… but I scanned in the picture of Wolfie in a circle, the logo I use today… but this version was my version, the very badly drawn version.

Then a friend who I had been going to Amiga clubs with, yes, physically lumping my computer somewhere, gave me an old modem, I think it was 14.4kbs or “slow as fuck”, but in those days there were no movies or songs to download, it was mostly text and the odd jpg.

I found a BBS and would download files from there, and they also had some Usenet Newsgroups, I became more interested in that, and eventually got a proper internet account with Aardvark.

I had found alt.horror.vampires, a discussion group about vampires, and I naturally wondered if there was a werewolf one.

Eventually I found Alt.Horror.Werewolves (AHWW) and hung out there and made my first internet friends.

Of course there was porn on the internet, and I became quite a fan of the alt.binary.pictures.erotica groups which contained data that I had to piece together by hand before I could see it.

I had lived a very sheltered life and had been effectively prevented from seeing anything naughty, of course once I got online, the world was my oyster.

I saw my first ever gay porn, and I saw other varieties too, any porn I had seen before that was of women.

I noticed Alt.Binaries.Pictures.Erotica.Furry and assumed that must be something to do with hairy gay men, and for a while I didn’t bother with it, but eventually did… and that’s how I found out about Furries.

So had I not gone looking for porn, the online empire which I have now, may never have existed.

True story.

Wolfie!





Twitter

21 02 2013

Twitter





Love comes quickly

20 02 2013

A good friend of mine was missing his dog called Zed who died fifteen years ago today.

I fully understand that, I’ve had five dogs, which were mine, as in not one of my parents dogs which lived with us, but one of mine.

Tina the Fox terrier, who I had in my childhood. Who survived being run over in front of our holiday house when I was somewhere around five or eight and she had a scar on her side for years where the hair never re-grew. I loved Tina, but didn’t connect with her as much as with the later dogs, I was only a small boy then and my feelings were still developing.

Bobby the cross… probably German Shepherd and Greyhound, Who would go roaming in the evenings and joined a pack of vicious males in the early 80s, one night he ran away and we never saw him again.

Laddie the German shepherd and Collie cross, He was the dog I really connected with, He used to sit with me while I played my records, or listened to the high energy disco show on RRR-FM in the 80s. He’d go to the park and bring back gifts. a kids squeaky rubber hammer, a pair of mens red undies, an entire bag of rubbish, and massive branches which had fallen from trees. Laddie would amuse himself by bouncing a ball on his own, He was mad for all kinds of balls, even his own.

Laddie was the last dog which we allowed to roam, although Laddie would only go to the park and come home again, I think he went out one day and didn’t come back so that caused us all to fret.

Then Benny came along, the only dog we had ever payed for. He was our beautiful Alaskan Malamute, You all know Katie of course, But Benny was our first. It took me years to love Benny as I was still loyal to, and still missing Laddie… it took a long time to really love Benny, although perhaps I did anyway and just couldn’t admit it. Oh I was proud of him, He was a beautiful dog, and he loved us madly in return. Bennys breeder is Italian and suggested feeding him pasta, which we did. Benny would get his own Spag Bol and devour it with gusto and would drag the spaghetti all over the verandah while he did so. Benny hated the heater and would sleep on the verandah all night if we’d allow it… we wouldn’t because one night, while Benny was still a pup, someone tried to steal him, but we caught them in the act.

Then Katie came alone, and of course loving her was hard too, because now I had loyalty for Benny… and still missed Laddie too. But She has been such a loving, and grateful dog, that of course she wormed her way into my heart.

Anyway I wondered, they say you always remember your first love, but perhaps we also remember our first special dog too.

But in my case, there was no human love, perhaps because I had been bullied so much during my teenage years that I could never really trust anyone my age.

I still can’t trust people that much, I adore my friends, but that part of my heart is and always will be reserved for someone with four legs, not two.

People are strange and you’re never sure where you sit with them, and I really can’t be bothered trying to figure them out.

Yes Brad, I do, really understand your grief for a dog who passed away fifteen years ago.

I think sometimes having the lifetime a human has, is quite a torture to bare.

As for love of the human variety? They say that sooner or later it happens to everyone… it’s not true.

Wolfie!





ALL OF THE PILLS !!!

20 02 2013

I’m writing this as a guide in the hope that it can help someone else, it is not however proper medical advice. There may be a reason that your drugs need to be taken at a particular time.If in any doubt about any of your medicine, contact your medical practitioner.

So there I was, sitting on my couch, typing away, when I looked up and noticed Katie, My beautiful Alaskan Malamute, squinting.

This worried me because she has an unfortunate habit of getting pokes in the eye, and I’m not sure how it happens… but the last time it happened it caused a great deal of worry and a vet bill of over $1500.

I checked her eye and noticed that it was blue, I’d known it had been blue for a while, I’d fobbed it off as just being a cataract which it is… except now the outer part of the eye, the cornea was also blue and the white of her eye was red, this wasn’t right.

Katie and I went to our local vet, who suspected the eye had been damaged by glaucoma, but then she also said there didn’t seem to be any pain. She didn’t have the right equipment to check and sent us off to an eye specialist.

Now for all of you who didn’t know that there were eye doctors for dogs, may be surprised to know that they do exist, I didn’t up till that point… The one I was sent to the first time Katie hurt her eye specialised in dogs, horses and native Australian animals.

There are specialists in other areas too, those who work with bones or cancer.

This time I was sent to a different eye specialist, I probably would have preferred the one I went to first as all our records were already on computer, however you can be waiting days or weeks for a specialist, and this one had time to see me the next day.

Another thing to understand is that Animal Eye Vets travel from vet to vet, they may not always be in your area, so that’s another, sometimes awkward, problem.

So I grabbed the opportunity.

After examination, I was told that Katie had poked her eye (again) and there was a very small ulcer there… but the blue cornea was a result of inflammation. The goal was to heal the ulcer and the cornea.

I was told that both can probably be healed with drugs, rather than an operation.

At that moment I breathed a big sigh of relief for Katie, and another, for my pocket, Though I’m sure everyone knows Katie comes first, I’d gladly pay to keep her in good shape, She’s my constant companion and I love her dearly.

I was to be given four drugs and an eye drop, everything was explained carefully and I received papers on what needed to be done.

However, I had never had so many pills to handle before, I was worried that I might get quite confused and would need a plan… I also realised that others may find themselves in a similar position, but may not know how to manage it… but after some thought, this is what I came up with.

This should work for anyone, but again, if in any doubt, check with your vet or your doctor. Your vet or doctor may have already told you to take a specific medication at a specific time, that wasn’t the case with me.

Firstly, let me introduce the medication I was given and what they’re for:

Macrolone 20mg (Cortisone) – Pill – 1 per day for 7 days, then half per day.

Doxycycline (Antibiotic) – Pill – 1 1/2 Twice a day.

Niacinimide (Vitamin B) – Pill – 2 pills, 3 times a day.

Tacrolimus – Eye drops – 3 times a day.

As you can imagine, this looks fairly complex, and I wasn’t sure how to plan it out, I started to think about iphone apps and things which could remind me, but then I realised that it was a lot simpler than it first appeared.

Firstly, which medication is to be used most often?

The Niacinimide and the Eye drops, ok, so that means there are going to be three times during the day when medicine will be given, even if the medicine changes in those times.

Next, As I am Katies carer, she can’t take the pills herself, when am I available?

I sleep odd hours, this is mostly due to problems I was left with after surgery, but am definitely available between the hours of midday and midnight.

And finally I needed three evenly spaced times in which to give her the medicine.

I settled on Midday, 6pm and Midnight… Sensible?

One more thing, to simplify things even further, I gave the drugs a “nickname”Cortisone (Blue), Antibiotic (Green), Vitamin B (White) and Drops.

So this is how it works:

Midday – Blue, Green, White and Drops.

6pm – White and Drops

Midnight – Green, White and Drops.

Easy?

At the moment her eye is looking slightly better, but she really hasn’t been on the medicine for much more than a few days so far.

Wolfie!

 





Those eyes

15 02 2013

When we allow our dogs to put their heads out of a car window on a trip, we think that it’s really cute, they do love it. But people often don’t understand how that can lead to serious eye problems and a huge vet bill.

If even the tiniest bug or grain of sand hits the eye at high speed, it can cause a deep scratch that perhaps won’t bother your dog much at first, dogs don’t seem to worry much about their eyes like we do, so you may not notice any damage for weeks.

Now the hole can simply heal up without you knowing, but it can also turn into an ulcer.

A small ulcer can be healed with medication, prescription  eye drops and pills provided by your vet.

However, a larger ulcer may require an operation and this will be performed not by your regular vet, but by an animal eye specialist.

If this operation is held off, then your dog will most likely lose the eye, and in the worst case, die of infection, so it’s something which requires immediate attention.

However it is also expensive, you’re looking at a bill exceeding $1000.

So allowing your dog to enjoy a few minutes of fun is not worth it.

But if you’ve been following my story about Katie, well it probably wasn’t a car trip which caused the problem in her case, she seems to love poking her face into bushes with lots of pointy sticks in them. I’ve often pulled her back from spiky plants while we’re out walking.

Also, the breed of dog who is most prone to eye injury is the pug with it’s vulnerable bulging eyes, loveable, but a potential problem in waiting.

Wolfie!





The Irrits

13 02 2013

The other day Carol Duncan played a song which I had never heard before, It was “State of the art” by Gotye”.

And the song is about one of those Hammond organs which they tended to flog a lot on television in the 70s and 80s.

The video, on the other hand, is a weird sci-fi cartoon where this computerised instrument takes over the family and turns them into robots.

Ever since I heard the song, it has become an earworm which won’t go away, I think because it touched a nerve.

You see, in the 70s and 80s, I knew this family, I’ll call them the Irrits, because that’s what they gave me, sorry, but I couldn’t stand them, and because one of them may Google themselves one day I’ll change their first names too.

And this is why, firstly I had nothing in common with them, The Irrits had four kids who I mostly found annoying.

I liked my own company, but suddenly, and often over Christmas holidays in the Aussie Summer, they would arrive at our holiday house and park their caravan down the back, I’m not really sure how a family of five fitted into a caravan, but they managed it.

They had all the luxuries at home though, they had a great car, and a house, which only got larger as they moved onwards and upwards, with a pool and a spa… and the six car garage… but then they did run a taxi service, so that’s fair.

They had the biggest black and white TV that anyone could afford, and a superb quadraphonic Hi-Fi system.

The lead Woman of this Family, Let’s call her Shazza, liked to boast that when she bought the Hi-Fi, that the Man in the shop said “You must really love your music” to which she replied “Oh yes, We love Country and Western” and the poor Man was nearly sick, “You mean you’re going to play Country and Western… on THIS!?”

Are you beginning to see some faults? bare with me.

Oh, there was that organ too, the amazing organ which could make all these incredible sounds, but of course the lead Man, let’s call him Bazza, Couldn’t play a thing.

The house, as fancy as it was, was crammed with the worst kitch at the time, a clock which looks like a cat whose eyeballs and tail would move, little animal figurines, string pictures on the walls, paintings of sunsets.

My Dad couldn’t see the forest for the trees, Dad loved Bazza, thought he was the dogs bollocks, But Mum saw right through the lot, and so did I.

You know how they got all that money?

They barely ate, that’s right, the three teenage boys were thin as a rake, and when they visited us, Mum would put on a banquet, food was loaded onto the table and it would all be sucked up as if by a hoover minutes later.

I remember once when I was a little kid, they looked through every drawer in my bedroom to find money, I was naive then, I thought they were looking for toys or something to play with, but I don’t blame them, I suppose if I was that hungry, I may have taken a risk myself.

We visited them once, and I was offered a drink of cordial, Shazza had diluted it so much that it may as well have been tap water, in fact I said it out loud “This cordial takes like water” well did I get scolded for that, By Mum… it was something she raised a lot when she was angry with me over the years… but eventually I said “Mum, it was the truth wasn’t it?” and she never picked at me over it again.

Once when They visited us, Their daughter, the youngest, really needed a drink, Shazza told me that if I give her a drink of cordial, not to make it too strong, did I listen? pigs to that, it was probably the best drink of cordial the poor girl had ever had.

Another time when we were sitting in their kitchen, their daughter very gingerly asked Her Mum if she could have some BBQ Shapes, a snack biscuit which is popular here in Australia, and often a kid would just take the whole box and eat them all in front of the TV, I know I did.

Shazza took a babies plastic bowl, opened the box, took THREE out and put them in the bowl, and sent the poor kid away with that. My jaw almost hit the floor.

Their clothes were all moth eaten, their shoes were from the local tip or the op shop.

Mum witnessed Shazza washing the dishes once, barely a dribble of Embassy detergent in luke warm water.

When we went on holidays to Queensland (From Melbourne) Mum would pack a hamper full of sandwiches and there’d be a thermos of hot water for tea, coffee or cup-a-soup, there was always an assortment of cool drinks and chips and lollies. we would stop around six in the evening at a reasonably priced motel, to bed down.

When they went, they took no food, despite having five people in the car, they would exist on a few cans of coke and I remember Shazza saying that they pulled over to where a bloke was selling fruit, they bought an entire box of passionfruit  and ate those, nothing else for the whole journey… and they never stopped, a full 24hr drive, non-stop.

I don’t know how they existed like that, I know we didn’t have that much, although we had the extra house… We ate well and our clothing was always good… though I use that word lightly after a review of some of the photos from back then.

How do you step from the front door of a huge home wearing the thinnest, oldest and cheapest clothing?

I’m pleased to say that the rest of my family were lovely and I often enjoyed being with them, but the best thing about the Irrits was when they went home.

Wolfie!





AIR FM – Transcript. Melbourne, Australia

12 02 2013

Werewolves of Melbourne – Lesley Jones
Broadcast: Monday 11 February 1986.

Werewolves have been a part of human folklore for centuries, and later
took the starring role in many of our books and films, filling us with
fear late at night, and giving us blood curdling nightmares… If we could
sleep at all.

Many of us thought that the Werewolf would remain a fictional character
forever, until Australian born rock singer Wolfie Rankin “came out” during
the “Aurora” concert in 1983.

Has it changed our perceptions about who and what the Werewolf really is.

Wolfie Rankin, Thankyou for coming into the studio tonight.

It’s a Pleasure, Thankyou.

I began by mentioning horror movies, and wonder if you think that there’s still a tendency for people, your fans included, to think about the werewolf as a blood thirsty creature of the night? and does it bother you?

No, not really, I mean it has been discussed among some of the other werewolves but we’re not generally worried about it, many of us grew up watching those movies, I certainly did…

You didn’t know you were a Werewolf until you were fifteen, right?

That’s right.

When you first transformed, what was that like? Was there any warning?

Well I remember having the odd twinge in my body and not worrying about it all that much, it wasn’t until after the fact that I looked back with Twenty-Twenty vision and went, Oh, So that’s what that was.

On the day that it happened, I remember being very stiff and sore and my fillings fell out.

It happened during the day?

Yep, Two PM on a Saturday afternoon, so pop goes that cliche. *laughs*

Would you mind taking us through what it was like?

Happy to, I know there are others out there who haven’t changed yet, and while I took it fairly well, others have a really hard time with it.

I’d been out walking Laddie, our Dog, with Dad after lunch and my body began to ache, it wasn’t too bad, but I remember sort of limping around and once I was home, I told Mum who was fairly concerned, especially after me going “Oh look, another filling popped out”.

She straightened my bed and made me lay down, and filled the hot water bottles up for me.

Good old Mum.

Yes exactly, Dad was worried too, I remember hearing him in the kitchen asking Mum if She wanted him to drive me to the hospital, Mum didn’t know what to do, but I’m glad they didn’t do that or it would have made things so much worse.

Anyway, once it happened, there was no pain, it was almost like my body let out this big sigh and all the tension left, and then it was like I had an erection over my entire body, and all the fur sprouted.

It felt lovely, really… but I also felt strangely drunk.

Then I noticed my arms, and my hands and just thought “Oh that’s nice”, and
about five minutes later it started to occur to me that I’m going to have to tell someone.

I thought of Teen Wolf…

So the movies got some things right then?

Oh, It’s generally accepted that if any movie got things right, that Teen Wolf came the closest. *Laughs*

My whole life is basically a better version of Teen Wolf, except the costume is better and I have a Guitar rather than a basketball.  *Laughs*

So what happened then?

Well I wanted to panic a bit, but I couldn’t get up, and Mum came back and
that was that.

How did She take it?

It was difficult, She wasn’t sure what I was, or maybe even who I was, I think she had thought a few things which she still hasn’t told me… but there I was, all seven feet of me, with my legs sticking out at the end of the bed.

She wasn’t prepared for it, how could she be?

I’m grateful that she didn’t watch horror films, I think that would have made things worse, she had none of that imagery in her head so, perhaps, it was easier for her.

Dad was a different kettle of fish, I remember him coming in and looking at me, and his mouth dropped open, and then he said “You alright Son?” and  I said “Yeah, I think so”… although my mouth wouldn’t work properly so I sort of mumbled it. and he nodded and that was that. It’s funny how some people react.

He wasn’t fussed?

Not at all, There’s a part of Dad which never grew up, which I think we all have, but I could just see that sparkle in his eyes that said “Cool!”.

I’m glad because I think it made everything easier for Mum.

Dad helped me get out of bed, and was somewhat surprised when he saw how big I was,

I wrapped my arm around him for support because I was still wobbly on my feet, My Dad is this big truckie and I think he was straining under the weight, so he’s trying to hold me up without falling over and I’m trying not to knock him over or run into anything, it was a mess. *laughs*

My whole body had changed into something new and I had to re-learn how to do everything.

I was getting around the house awkwardly, trying to walk without falling over and I was saying “Look at me, look at me” and then at some point I remember thinking “Oh crap, I’m naked”, so I went to the bathroom and put a towel around myself, and that’s all I could wear for a few days.

You didn’t change back?

No, I was like that for a solid month or more, so I was confined to the house. and you know, I’m generally an inside person, but not going out wore thin, I snuck out a few times, late at night to walk the dog with Dad.

I had no idea if I would revert to my old body or not, and I was worried that it might hurt if I did, or something would go wrong, if I’d die.

What kind of difficulties did you face over that month.

You begin to realise how much of this world is made for “normal people”, You don’t really get it until your body changes in such a drastic way and things which were easy to use can suddenly be difficult.

The first night I changed, I couldn’t use a knife or fork, so Mum cut things up and fed me as though I was a baby, I think she quite enjoyed doing that even though she was also still really worried about me.

It was difficult to use a toilet, I had to really think about that one but
eventually everything worked out well.

What about playing the guitar.

If anything, that seemed easier, for which I was grateful. Having claws at
the ends of my fingers was a real asset there.

Except I couldn’t sing, It took me a good few months to understand how my voice worked.

I remember reading an article earlier on where someone suggested you weren’t really a werewolf, and that it was all some sort of publicity stunt.

Oh yes, I’ve read a few of those too. *laughs*

They cited your ability to form words with a “dog shaped mouth” as impossible.

Well there you go, that proves it then *laughs* Fake as…
I do understand though, there’s a lot of things which shouldn’t be possible and people think well, logically, that can’t be right.

When you went on The Don Lane Show shortly after coming out on stage, didn’t that help?

Not really, I think a lot of people still think the whole thing’s as fake as the moon landing, I’m not fussed about it really, But the Doctors and Vets who examined me that night, were convinced that I wasn’t fake. but then they had difficulties with their workmates and patients so in retrospect although I wasn’t just trying to clarify my position, it wasn’t good for them and it came across as a bit of a stunt.

I know you’ve spoken about it many times before, but what was it like to come out on stage like that?

Difficult, I was more worried about the other Weres than myself, I’ve done well for myself over the years and have a nice big home with security, but not everyone else does.

Although we’ve never been all that secret, people just saw us but would keep it to themselves, people aren’t worried about Werewolves at all which sort of flies in the face of everything… it’s like “Oh, You’re a Werewolf? <pause> cool” and it’s a kind of a let down really *laughs*.

Certain People in Melbourne, the vagrants, the ladies of the night, the cops, always knew we were there..

So when….

But you know the band had no idea, and I just told them I’d make this big announcement and not to worry too much, just keep playing. it was ok, but it got a bit complicated later when we had to have a long talk about it, but after a month or so, we were just us again.

You mentioned the other Werewolves, are there many of you and where do you
gather?

There’s perhaps around thirty of us at the moment, others always show up. We have a place which has been converted into a sort of pub, we hang out there and then go for a walk if we feel the need for a lung full of smog… But I’m not going to say where it is.

mind if we dispel a few myths?

Not at all.

Full Moons?

It’s bollocks, although I find I can’t sleep very well when there’s a full moon. I can change at any time, and so can all the others.

What about Silver?

Well I’ve been to a few lovely evenings where silver cutlery was involved, nothing happened. I can’t say anything about silver bullets as I haven’t been shot at and neither have any of my friends, I hope that remains the status quo.

Is it a curse?

*laughs* Definitely not, it’s incredible, I love it.

Next Album?

We’re still working on it, but it’s getting close to being finished, We’re hoping for a release date of around May or June and another concert in June or July we think.

AHA! A Scoop!

Yes indeed!

Wolfie, Thanks for coming in, and good luck with the next album and tour.

Thankyou for having me and for your wishes.

I’ve just been chatting to Wolfie Rankin and as he says a new album around
May or June, Sounds good to me.

It’s five o’clock here at Air FM.

Archival:

Copyright Air FM 1986

Air Digital, Melbourne Australia.