Sunday 31 August 2008

Post Deleted.

Some of you who have subscribed by feed, may have noticed I put up a post and then deleted it.
Why did I do that?
Because it was about politics. And a person. And I thought better of it. I'll leave politics to the political bloggers.

Did I get any negative comments about it?
Only from me, in my head. It was not a good post, it was not something that I should have written, and I didn't like it.
My inner self policeman glowered at me, and said "You know how to behave better than that, stay out of criticising other people, stay out of things you know nothing about."

If I offended anyone else, I'm sorry for that too.

Boob Job

Sorry, I stole this off another blog, and I can't remember where.
Or I'd credit it like a good blog-pirate should.
If I remember, I'll link it

One-String Willy

Brought to my attention by Bifurcated Rivets, is the genre, new to me, of the playing of single-stringed guitars.

Here's One-String Willy:

Thursday 21 August 2008

Further Developments on the Subject of the Thripp-Curmudgeonly Orgasmatron

See HERE for background on the original post.
"Richard X. Thripp said... Ha ha, looks like a powerful weapon."


Thank god!
I had lost all hope of finding you.... It's a long shot, I know, but I'm hoping you know the whereabouts of your great-grandfather's secret journals.
They were, it is rumoured, so secret, he used to blindfold himself whilst writing in them... and would not tell himself where they were hidden. It is rumoured that back in the early days, he designed a counter-surge device, but never found a purpose for it.
That purpose, of course, did not then exist, as in those days he had yet to collaborate with the late Sir Randolph Curmudgeonly on the early prototype Orgasmatron.
We have a problem.
A serious problem.
The new orgasmatron is a modern device, built to be a close facsimile of their mark VI,( the one which was destroyed in a fit of jealousy by Grand-Duke Sigismund, after Duchess Cecilie giggled non-stop for a whole month, following her visit to the laboratory).
Unfortunately, we have had substitute some materials, I think the substitution is at the um... nub.. of the problem.
Surges! uncontrollable surges in the vaccilator coils of the main reciprocal thrimbobulator.
-Cecilie may have taken a month to regain her composure, but some of our test subjects may never come down... One shouts "YES, YES, YES, YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS
NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!" continuously, another just smiles and hums all the time.
I think it is all due to the ridged turbulants on the thrum capacitors having been made of baekelite, when the original papers stated "unicorn ivory" as the material. It being now illegal to trade in even ancient unicorn parts, I just can't find the tiny amount I would need, no matter how far afield I search...
I need to see if old Thripp ever tried any other materials, and if so, whether any currently available to me might give a safe result.
Failing that, I need, desperately, his most powerful surge-damper. Like... yesterday.

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Kafka, Ice, and Sacred Cows

I just found this lurking in my Blogger drafts, it's been there a long time and references a blog that no longer exists, sadly:
I encountered a quotation from Franz Kafka.

"A book must be an ice-axe
to break the seas
frozen inside our soul."
- Franz Kafka

At first reading, with an aerial photograph of a ship in sea-ice, it seemed a fairly clever, and worthy quotation.
But I'm a contrary beast, and something about it niggled me.

After a moment or two, I decided that Kafka was talking nonsensense. Piffle. In a rather nonsensical way. Obviously, Kafka is a towering literary and philosophical genius, so I should desist from rocking the boat?

Let's just look more closely.
An ice-axe is in modern english parlance, a mountaineering tool. It is used for cutting footholds, as a walking aid, with its pick as a climbing tool, and as a fall arrest device on steep snow and ice slopes.
It's pretty useless for breaking up sea ice.

Ha! I'll be the only voice of dissent shall I?, the grit in the gears so to speak. "A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul." I wonder if Kafka meant this? or how else the translator might have rendered these words? Because an ice axe is not a tool for breaking sea ice, I've broken sea ice aplenty, and the ice axe is not the tool of choice. An ice-axe is a tool for cutting steps, arresting falls, anchoring oneself, a safety device, not a breaking out device. And seas frozen inside our soul? only the surface of the sea freezes, a relatively thin crust, thin crust, beneath which life teems, plankton, fish, whales. And the ice is constantly moving, opening, re-forming, ridging.. And a book, an ice axe? Yes, cut steps in the snow, ascend, halt your plummet into the crevasse... I can see it as you do, if I deliberately ignore my knowledge of frozen seas, and ice-axes, but... Sorry Mr Kafka, a clumsy metaphor, I realise English is not your own language, and I can't hold you responsible for the translation, but this this is clumsy. I tracked it down, to the original source. My german is poor.
Kafka wrote in a letter- "-If the book we are reading does not wake us, like a fist hammering on our skull, why do we read it? So that it shall make us happy? My God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. But what we must have are those books which come upon us like ill-fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an axe for the frozen sea within us."
Hmm, Mr Kafka, can you explain to the class why, for what possible reason, one might want to take an axe to the frozen sea? Not your mythical interior one. Real sea, real axe. What reason to conjoin the two? Perhaps, class, that shall be your homework. And Mr Kafka? I realise that as a young man of twenty, you think you know everything, I wonder how you'll view those words when you are a bit older and wiser.
Right folks, axes out, I'll start running.
How dare he question Kafka?!!!!!

If you want to break sea ice, an icebreaker is quite handy.

Tuesday 5 August 2008

A Holiday...

I've been away a bit, starting at the beginning of july.

It was a holiday, a very special holiday, with someone very special.
I met her a long time ago on the internet. It seems very implausible, doesn't it, all as a result of exchanging blog comments, with an internet stranger, far away.
It's easy to think that people on the internet aren't real, -like the people you see in the backgrounds of movies. But they are real. You,, me, we are real. And in this medium, some of us sometimes interact. But to take it a step further, to converse outside the blogs, to email, eventually to speak, -that takes us out of our comfort zones, into, maybe, risk.

We can, by carelessness or stupidity, hurt each other, or be wounded ourselves. Some say it's a dangerous place, cyberspace, but is it any more so than real life?

Over time, we got to know each other, and decided to take that next scary step of meeting. It was scary for me, what if.... what if she decided that she didn't like the real me? the human me, as opposed to the pusher of words? What if she despised my home, my way of life, my world?
But mine was the easier part. She came a long way to see me, on unfamiliar ground, her friends warned her it was unwise, yet she took those brave steps and risked the possibility that I might be a serial killer or crazed madman.
You may think it not such a big deal, but I think it took a lot of courage. I'm glad she did.
That first visit was a foundation- she seems to like me, because she came back...

I won't go into too much detail, beyond that she makes me very happy and I wish I'd met her long ago.

And I hope she's in my life to stay.

We've spent a lot of time travelling , exploring places in this small but richly detailed country called England. Here are a few of our favourite places, there are many more yet to be explored;