Thursday, December 13, 2018

Decorative Accents

North, North, East Corner has reached the point where the track is laid, and on reflection that was probably the easy part of this N Scale Winter, kind of like there's no wood on the porch. Decorative accents are a whole new lump of wax, primarily because decorative accents do not dictate They belong to posy which is an archaic word that also meant a bunch of flowers and still does mean a bunch of flowers. Posy is stuff like lines of verse which in Aristotle' s elements of persuasion, logos, ethos and pathos are more a part of the ethos, pathos side. It's an area out of which very few decisions have ever been successfully made and pretty much all of them have ended up on what's called the dustbin of history..

 Words, like railway lines have structure, they are more about logos. In short Posy emerges from suspicion and uncertainty and you kind of know posy when you see it, or hear it or read it as verse or experience it. "The sky is blue like an orange," makes a posy type  sense but you wouldn't want to launch a rocket to Mars on such a wishy-washy passing moment of posy. At the same time a desire to launch a rocket to Mars is more likely about posy, so there's a whole roundabout thing with us people, which is why Artificial Intelligence will have us beat when it has the capacity to fend for itself, unless it succumbs to a very intelligent winter ennui and just sort sits there being all about logos instead of diligently entertaining itself by plotting the conquest of the universe..

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What is Thinking

"What is Thinking?" is a book by Martin Heidegger that was written during a rehabilitation that followed from his purported support of Adolf Hitler. When Hitler came to power, our friend Martin had a good job at a University and such were the times that to keep his job and all the good things that went with it, he had to bow down to the Political Party in Power and stop thinking about the possibility that the Nazi Party might not be an expression of the authentic. Following the war Martin was roundly castigated for the errors of his ways by all and sundry, and he had a difficult time finding a teaching job.

But sadly it's the case that you don't send Professors of Philosophy to ditch digging and factory work, it's seen as a slippery slope by other Professors of Philosophy, kind of like fallen tyrants if they're not bumped off by irate citizens they always seem to find a home somewhere. Idi Amin Dada Ourmee is a classic example, it was Colonel Gadfafi of Libya not a North Korean who first gave Idi a home, in 1980 he was given sanctuary by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabi where he died in 2003 at the age of between 74 to 80, his date of birth uncertain.  Either way "What is thinking?" is a damned good question and Martin's book while not exactly a ripping yarn is well worth reading.

Monday, December 10, 2018

General Theory

Nothing more dangerous than waiting for glue to dry. An N Scale Novice just sits there staring at it, enters a reverie familiar to the Fox Squirrel, soon enough his mind wanders, and before he knows it a whole new more sensible layout plan emerges, becomes concrete in the ethers and if he's not very careful out come the sharp knives and jackhammers. And this is why the slightly more experienced N Scale Modeler doesn't watch glue dry, he listens to an Internet Radio twenty four hour television news program so that he can spend most of his waking hours cursing the Advertising Professionals and their unforgivably evil concept of our world.

"Give the gift of panettone." It's a breathless whisper from a male voice who's clearly in the process of struggling with an incomprehensible relationship with Italian bakery products instead of usefully writing well reasoned emails to his spineless congressman. The female significant other in this truly icky pair, who had never been able to find the time to visit The Gym, becomes irrationally excited when she hunts down her seasonal gift, and worth remembering we boys have never been able to hide anything from girls. The thing is, for some weeks, what I heard as "panettone" which is the Italian bread that comes in an impossible to open box, it has the nutritional value of a rice cake and four raisons, and will outlast a landfill, was actually, "Give the gift of Peloton." Which, and who on earth is supposed to know this, is an incredibly expensive stationary bicycle that's generally photographed in what could be a sanitized library..... I weep for our people!


Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Gift of Charism

Charism is like charisma only it's a supernatural gift of grace given to particular people for the purpose of building up the church for everybody. There's a whole list of these special gifts and amongst them is the discernment of, or ability to see, Spiritual Agents. These agents include Angels and Devils, there's also the tricky area of Divine Grace which is a good agent and there are agents of Concupiscence, an odd word, a little suggestive and well worth at least contemplating.

First thing to note is that Concupiscence is a badness that comes from human soul, it's seen as a desire of the lower appetites and is contrary to reason. It's a never satisfied passion to draw as much of reality as possible into oneself, including knowledge, power, sex and in the process of satisfying this lower appetite never uniting with, affirming or loving another being. Call me special, possessed of at least one gift of Charism if you like, because I suspect there's some sort of agent of concupiscence disguised as the current US President.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Blessed Release

Not many people know this, but one of the obvious cures for the sort of restlessness that can lead to sore feet, sinus trouble, dizzy spells and hives is an early seasonal gift of 25, 3 foot lengths of N Scale cork railroad bed ($14.99) and a pack of 48 N Code 80 rail joiners ($2.87.) Oh sure, there'll be some who call this sort of thing a pathetic case of grasping hypochondria that should be strongly discouraged in those of us who are clearly facing the horrible prospect of a second childhood. But I don't care, I feel great, there's a light at the end of the tunnel, the tooth will be pulled, life may soon return to a normal, mundane and very ordinary routine, it's as though the clouds have opened to reveal a heavenly host and soon enough I might even spend a night asleep instead of wandering around in a kind of purgatory that not even Dante could adequately describe this side of his having lived long enough to visit Disney World or the foyer of a Hardware Store in December.

The problem is the 5 rail lines in the North End (which strictly speaking is the North, North East Corner) have to go under a wide tunnel, we're talking a good 2 square feet of incredibly valuable real estate. This means access to these rail lines for the purposes of maintenance requires a removable tunnel roof. Currently the North, North East Corner, short of suspending myself from the ceiling cannot be reached comfortably, and when standing on tiptoes working on it I have so far succeeded in damaging some tendons in my left foot, which is the good foot, tilted forward, sprained my wrist and banged my head several times which aggravates an old complaint of the inner ear that results in my hearing a constant and entirely unnecessary high pitched whining sounds interspersed by spells of dizziness which may in the past have led to hives. Just a few more days of agony and the rail lines should be in place, functioning, no trains constantly derailing each other, all of it beautifully concealed from the casual observer and ready for what in the future could be a scene resembling the cover of a Gormenghast paperback. Yes indeed, "holy, holy, holy."

Friday, December 7, 2018

N Scale Tensions

Alright Chaps! I'd like to think that I've been negotiating with Kazakhstani Oligarchs on matters critical to the survival of Liberal Democracy. Well I can't do that but I can report that I have been negotiating with the Saint Barbara's Barefoot Carmelites who in almost every respect could teach Kazakhstani Oligarchs a lesson or two in outright ruthlessness. Still can't see what's wrong with putting a magnificent railway bridge over the roofs of Saint Barbara's Carmelite Hermitage, but there you go, the Lord does work in mysterious ways and apparently not only would I be breaking several Sacred Laws I'd also be breaking far too many of the more Temporal Laws of Physics.

So it's down to plan B. And on this I do have tremendous support from the Barbarian Department of Tourism, who are all for a viewing platform on the north side of the River Styx from which binoculars can be trained on the Hermitage and rest assured there'll be a big financial reward for any tourist capturing a photograph of a Carmelite wearing anything like socks or shoes or sandals or gum boots. "How," I've been asked, "can I possibly sink so low?" The thing about us tyrants we don't mess around when it comes to getting our way particularly on the subject of wide curves for 2-6-4 steam locomotives hauling a multitude of carriages, and I can pretty much guarantee that by this time next year Carmelite emissaries will be begging me to break the Laws of Physics.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Carburetors and Pixies

You're correspondent well understands the importance of getting out and about a bit, it's good for the vehicle to venture beyond the end of the lane, it charges the battery, works the indicator lights, gives it a chance to get out of second gear and at the same time gives the a pipes an opportunity to take good deep breaths, clear out the carburetor, take a gander at other vehicles and there's a whole list of excellent reasons especially through the short days. Theoretically a trip is supposed to do me good, widens the horizons apparently.... the details of the theory are incredibly hazy.

For me the trip would have been uneventful, the Post Office was fine, Bank went smoothly, it was the Hardware Store that did it. On the way into the store I was deliberately attacked by a hyperactive blowup Snowman with a yellow beak, Jingle Bells was playing far too loudly on the speaker system and the Hardware Store's employees must have been fresh from a shot of rum and a "go get 'em" sermon about the importance of being jolly. I'd like to believe I'm one of the many people in the world who prefers surliness from anyone wearing a pixie hat through the long weeks of the Festive Season.