Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Sirens of Titan.

"The Sirens of Titan" was the title of a science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut, first published in 1959... so are the days of future past.

Al Stewart

I was drawn by the sirens of Titan
Carried along by their call
Seeking for a way to enlighten
Searching for the sense of it all
Like a kiss on the wind I was thrown to the stars
Captured and ordered in the army of Mars
Marching to the sound of the drum in my head
I followed the call
Only to be Malachi Constant
I thought I came to this earth
Living in the heart of the moment
With the riches I gained at my birth
But here in the yellow and blue of my days
I wander the endless Mercurian caves
Watching for the signs the Harmonians make
The words on the walls

I was drawn by the sirens of Titan
And so I came in the end
Under the shadow of Saturn
With statues and birds for my friends
Finding a home at the end of my days
Looking around I've only to say
I was the victim of a series of accidents
As are we allI was drawn by the sirens of Titan (as are we all)
As are we all
I was drawn by the sirens of Titan (as are we all)
As are we all...

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Curses! Foiled again!

via Laughing Squid...

("Curses! Foiled Again!" was a catchphrase for Muttley's sidekick, 'Rick Rastardly' Hehehehehe!)

Saturday, 21 June 2014

I Preferred The Older Minute.

 If you're not British, you'll probably be better advised not to bother reading this post. Just as I often don't get the references my american blogger friends make to things have been  part of everyday life in the U.S.,  you probably will frown and think it's not funny at all.

On my sidebar, there's a link to Adullamite's blog. Recently he was bemoaning the decay of the BBC Radio panel-game, "Just a Minute".
The idea is simple. A panel of four guests  are challenged to speak for 'just a minute' on some diverse subject, without 'Hesitation, Repetition, or Deviation'. It's harder than you might think. Back in the days when I regularly listened, regulars panellists were Clement Freud, Derek Nimmo, Kenneth Williams.
Current ones, Paul Merton, Julian Clary....
I listen occasionally via the BBC's web app.

And I agree with Adullamite, I think the current crop of contributors are sadly lacking,  and would be pulverised if they were to play against their predecessors.

Here's a little vintage British radio:

Sunday, 15 June 2014


Every Saturday night, just north of Houston, Texas, there's a car gathering called 'Niftee 50ees', at the junction of Kuykendahl and Louetta.
It's open to any vehicle from before 1979, I think. Everything from an Oldsmobile Curved Dash of 1902 to the great muscle cars of the seventies, plus custom cruisers,  hot-rods, chopped and channeled sleds,  trucks, vans...

Having an old, square, Land Rover, of course, I like to take part, -though really the emphasis is on home-grown metal, there are a few foreign imports.
I open the bonnet....(hood, for my American readers), to show my non-chromed, non V8, non-hemi-headed, non 427 cubic inch, trivial 4 cylinder engine. I see it as a refreshing palate-cleanser, akin to a glass of cold home-made lemonade, for all those poor folk overdosed on detroit chromium.

 People think my Land Rover is a Jeep... No, these are Jeeps....

They raise money for charity, the local fire crew brings a truck for kids little and large to goggle at, the height of excitement for many a child is to be allowed to sound that big chromed bell.

Entry for the public to browse: Free!
To show a vehicle? $10:00.

I'm not there every week, because because even a knucklehead like me would get bored.  But the number and nature of cars there is ever varying.
Then there's 'Cars and Coffee', at Market Street in The Woodlands, every first Sunday of the month, from early o'clock to Eleven a.m.
I'm amazed at the number of people who own old cars here.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Last Leviathan......

Siggy Stern, singing a beautiful song, by Andy Barnes, recorded and better known by the Dubliners, Siggy, to me, does a better job.

Not a recording artist, she has uploaded a few songs to YouTube.
This song came to mind when I was viewing a post by 'Nag on the Lake' about a dutch painting, that in restoration was found to have originally featured a beached whale.

The Lost Whale

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Curtain Rises. And Billows.

The Scene: centre stage: darkness, a bedroom,  a bed.

3 a.m.
A sleeping couple.

Loud farts... Several. In quick succession. 

Him: I can't believe you did that!

Her: What?

Him: You just shattered the silence with a barrage of bottom-burps!

Her: Wasn't me!

Him: Who then?

Her: Sam Houston did it.

Him: Sam Houston was in our bedroom?

Her: Yes.

Him: And he got here how?

Her: In his buggy.

Him: So you're saying, Sam Houston, (first president of the Republic of Texas), who died in 1863, resurrected himself, and harnessed up his ghostly horses, drove in his buggy to our bedroom, where he let loose a trombone solo in the vicinity of your rear end, then got in the buggy, flicked the reins, and trotted off down the stairs and into the night?

Her: Yes. That's right.

Him: Oh.

They go back to sleep.
Outside, ghostly hooves and creaking of harness fading to the distance.

In the morning he asks her about Sam's visit. She has no recollection. And no shame at trying to pass off her farts as those of a hero of the Texas revolution.

From now on, mystery occurrences in this household, from trumps to empty ice cream cartons in the freezer, will be blamed on Sam Houston.

Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto

(When we first met, back in 2007, and she visited me in England, as we were carrying her compendious baggage into the house, somebody farted, and it wasn't me. She looked me in the eye, and with a straight face, said "did you hear that?" "I did, I heard a fart."
"No", she said. "A bark.  -it's the barking spiders."
She persisted in trying to tell me the sounds I kept hearing were made by barking spiders, a subset of arachnid I had never previously encountered. And they had followed her, from, she thought, the airport in Atlanta, Georgia, perhaps stowing away in her baggage.)

More from the bedroom: The Morning After.