Friday, September 30, 2016

Emotional Dependence

Almost ready to decide against DCC. Call it Old School, the kind of mutton that sneers at the newfangled and reckons a Remote is a primary cause of a Civilization's decline, the new world a sort off hands place where a man quickly loses touch with his 0-6-0 Switcher, the steam boiler and the shoveling of fuel, the dirty neck of sweat and heat, and he might as well become an office worker.

 The other point worth mentioning is the emergence of an idea that includes a board with lots of lights and toggles on it. I do understand this sounds like a great deal of planning, diagrams and stuff like that, all of which, following decline due to loss of brain cells, will have to have aid-mémoire notes dotted all over the place. Just one small noble contribution to the preservation of life as we know it, and you're very welcome.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Puerile Nationalists

Recent assumptions that Nationalism is on the rise following economic uncertainties have been challenged by studies which suggest economic uncertainty is less motivating as a source of increased Nationalism than a sense within a society that their national culture is being challenged by outsiders.

The political class is prone to leaping upon any opportunity, and more often in democracies the preoccupation with the idea that a week is a long time in politics results in the thinking things through part being left to some future time when it might be too late. It's embarrassing more than anything else.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

General Planning

Four code 80 remote standard frogs should be sufficient. There'll be aqueduct type structures to carry the rails, a little earth moving, a couple of bridge adjustments which would have the added benefit of improving traction on a rather awkward turn, and Bob's Your Uncle, a 4-8-4 calling to the night as it steams from somewhere yet to be, toward somewhere yet to be conceived.

The DCC issue remains uncomfortable. The mind wanders around the questions, it sees its more physical attributes engrossed in manuals, becoming exceedingly frustrated and doing things like throwing stuff out of windows, so there's a whole diplomatic effort attempting to rephrase the problem by resorting to honeyed words and leaping on hubristic assumptions that follow on from my ten year old mentor's How Too videos.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sabean Genre

Your writer of pulp, in a desperate attempt to contribute verity, or perhaps vérité, to The Rabbit's Exile has chosen to place the story's provenance in a Silurian myth which a Jungian theorist suggested was a likely example of Freud's archaic remnant in Jung's collective unconscious. The smart arse might note this subtle introduction of the relationship between Freudian and Jungian ideas. Naturally enough the debate is wide ranging, but worth noting that a younger Jung did spend time exploring his idea of the collective unconscious amongst what he must have reckoned were the Simpler People of the western slopes of the Elgon Caldera.

 I guess too, there's an argument that might suggest our hero is more primitive than the average modern hero, his belief systems just a tad on the wacky side despite the surface, the pavement or the sidewalk if you prefer, of more recent iterations that have so smothered the purity, or the innocence of the ancients, who apparently never had need of health insurance or psychiatrists. The problem is, once a writer of pulp uses the word Myth to describe any explanation of the real, a ripping yarn no longer belongs to the Sabean Genre. And what ever which way you put it, reaching into a cathedral for affirmation of idea is a dastardly trick. But there's good news from Saint Barbara, theoretically 10 inch radius curves are possible without the nightmare of a Dog Pole Loop and without relocating The Oddfellow Hall. So I can cling to that for a bit.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dog Pole Loop

Some of us are very tempted by DCC. No shortage of literature on the subject, much of it written by devotees for whom jargon is a matter of pride, so the apprentice has a whole new dictionary to get his mind around. I could go on a rampage around the flaw of insularity in our species but best no to. Nor will I be trusting the promotional media that have such a stranglehold on information. But the point about DCC is you can do away with most Blocks and with an auto reverse module there's no need for an insulated Frog which means a Reverse Loop is a Piece of Cake, apparently.

A Reverse Loop could well be the solution to the problem of introducing nine and a half inch Radius Curves into the County of Saint Barbara. Much of it would have to be elevated but at least the egress would be a single track. An even greater temptation is that DCC permits Locomotives to run independently upon the same track. This causes a mind to expand in an almost hallucinogenic manner, but sadly there's a cost factor. The other thing is that I have to have some idea of the world beyond Saint Barbara and this means I'm probably looking at a Dog Pole Loop.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Winter Prep

In all the excitement of getting ready for winter, which incidentally is a novel experience for those of us who are more familiar with an idea of winter as a good four months of purgatory, your correspondent is currently dwelling upon four stages of concrete preparation otherwise things will bump into each other, all hell will break loose and winter will be wasted. The first area of preparation is to secure with some precision the nature of The Rabbit's exile so that in moments of intensity the mind doesn't get all carried away into the fantastically absurd. This basically means homework, lots of it. And neatly filed notes with a comprehensible index. All very well talking about the computer screen as an analogy for the miracle of consciousness in a whole new model of consciousness, but if you can't find your notes we're all doomed to rambling about in a most unsatisfactory manner.

Two other areas of preparation relate to the "alright Guys" of N Scale. The principal issues here are radius curves and whether to welcome a monastery or a nunnery to the county. The fourth area is a deteriorating relationships with Saint Barbara's militia, who have laid out their conditions for cooperating  in the scheme to a run a rail line through their county that'll manage a giant 4-8-4 steam locomotive and at least ten carriages. The committee has offered the militia a Swedish made Bofors 40mm multi-purpose auto cannon and tractor. It makes a lot of noise, it's great fun to take apart, keep clean, it could take down passing airplanes or it could stop an invading Commonwealth tank, but they want a U-Boat VIIC. Some committee members have pointed out that an ocean going submarine makes little sense for a land locked county, others of course have suggested it would give some kind of purpose to the county's water feature and might bring trade to the Yellow Roof Motel.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Silures

The Silures where a tribe of Celts who according to Roman historians defeated The Second Legion. There's some doubt as to whether the Silures were ever subdued by Roman Forces or whether an agreement was reached. The Silures, apparently were not to be changed as a people by either "clemency or cruelty." They were "born curly haired" and were darker complexion than most Celts of the Islands of Britannia who apparently were a redder variety of Celt and many suggested the Silures were more like the Celts of Gaul and Iberia. The suggestion being that, as a people, they had moved from somewhere like Northern Spain to the South East of Wales, the River Usk and even Gloucestershire, and, the argument goes, they'd have done this by a sea crossing from the Iberian Peninsular to the Severn Estuary rather than nipping across the Straits of Dover. Mind you, Romans were tricky and often very subjective historians.

 For the Victorian investigators, most of whom were gentlemen of leisure, class and race were established categories, the big thing was broadening the mind by reaffirming the overall superiority of the Anglo Saxon. Most considered the earlier inhabitants of the English Islands rather primitive, relative to say Romans or Greeks, so the Celtic Myths took a distant place to someone like Tacitus. One such Victorian investigator's interest in rocks took him to the borders of Wales and England, where he observed layers of rocks, some of which contained fossils and he devised a system for giving rough dates to rock strata which he named The Silurian System, after the curly haired Silures. The Silurian geologic period begins at the end of a major extinction of species, about 60% of all water species were wiped out, and during the Silurian age jawed and bony fish took on a whole new look and vascular plants took a hold on the idea of living on land.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ithaca and Isca

The Witch of Ithaca is a name with a potentially confusing reason. Ithaca is an Ionian Island and the home of Odysseus. There may be many readings of the poem, but one reading might suggest that it's all about a chap who went for a bit of a walkabout, had some very strange adventures, had a few remarks to make about this and that, and then had a hell of time getting back to his home on the Island of Ithaca. Then there are people who might suggest this is very simplistic, to the point of being an illiterate interpretation of sacred texts.  More likely, they'll argue, The Odyssey is a definition of what it is to be human, dealing with temptation, battling the odds and returning to the beginning as a Greek Hero, as opposed to some low down cigar smoking scoundrel with an under-aged wife, flashy car and ill-gained foreign investments. So that's the Ithaca part of the Witch of Ithaca.

Not being that smart, and having once suffered from the burden of a lisp, your writer of pulp always reckoned that Ithaca sounded a little like Isca. And the thing about it is, Isca Silurum is a Roman fort in south Wales that basically means Water of the Silures which is a river now generally called the River Usk. The Roman's had a whole foreign invasion thing happening, and initially their forts were kind of important to keeping the locals in check. In time everyone settled down, Isca Silurum had a bear pit for thoroughly masculine entertainments, and oddly this bear pit was once thought to be King Arthur's Round Table by the more romantic souls. The point is, there are two kinds of girls in the Odyssey. One super heroic, upright and decent by Homer's somewhat fuddy-duddy black and white standards, the other one loathsome and appalling. Penelope and Clytemnestra, if you're interested.  So that's the Witch part of the Witch of Ithaca.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Witch of Ithaca

In the Dentist Chair I couldn't recall if The Rabbit has yet described the Witch of Ithaca beyond the awe and wonderfulness of her often terrifying and erratic Being, and some of her more eccentric interests. But the thing about a person is they have two parts. The one part is what they look like, the other part has to do the eyes and movements, some aspect of the face, nuances of speech and expression, that offer insight into who a person might be.

As the various dental procedures progressed I continued to obsess a little on the Witch of Ithaca, maybe her eyes were deceptively blue, possibly unusually tall, might even have big hands, and we'd reached that point where a patient pretends through movements of his mouth that he's very familiar with flossing when it came like a bolt of lightning that the Dentist's Chair is probably not the best place to attempt an objective contemplation of the Witch of Ithaca's appearance.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Winter Dreams

The Tropic of Cancer figures sometime in the next twenty four hours, and I have been meaning to experiment with N scale trees before it's too damn cold to do stuff like working with N scale trees in the outdoors. Saint Barbara's Monument is a long way from being conceptualized, which is another way of saying I want tiny bricks to play with so that I might build a tower that looks like the kind of tower Saint Barbara might have been locked up in. Then there's the bridge, it was a necessary bridge, but very poorly thought out. The other area is the six to five and half inch radius curves in the track which kind of limits engine and carriage size. In short I may have to bring in earth movers, let them loose and see what happens.

A nine to eleven inch radius curve would give me a potential for a real powerful steam engine pulling miles of carriage. It would have a head light, a whistle and it would sweep across the countryside, turning heads and raising dreams of distant places where streets were paved with gold and Parrots called from fruit trees. Of course Saint Barbara's Halt would be wholly inadequate for the such majesty, so there'd have to be some kind of bus service, and certainly I'll raise it at the next committee meeting where there's already some huffing and puffing about the color scheme of the Oddfellows Hall from the Saint Barbara's Militia. I don't know where they got the idea that turquoise white and black were a satanic color combination. Not easy being God.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Crabtree's Stringbag

In World War II a British biplane torpedo bomber which was made for the Royal Navy by the Fairey Aviation Company in an around London, England, was given the nickname "Stringbag" by those who had an intimacy with it. Sometimes it was referred to as a "Dear Old Stringbag." The more official name was The Fairey Swordfish. By the mid to late 1930's the biplane design was generally considered obsolete and old fashioned. The Swordfish's nickname had to do with the rigging that gave additional structure to the wings of biplanes and like a string bag a Swordfish could carry a whole bunch of different loads all at the same time. And, just in case, The Swordfish sunk more tonnage than any other Allied plane through the course of World War II.

"To War in a Stringbag" and "Bring Back My Stringbag" are the titles of two books written by men who flew the Fairey Swordfish during World War II. It was a relatively slow airplane and according to Crabtree it "wallowed in the air" it was a "sitting duck"  it didn't "like diving" it didn't like to "spin" and apparently a person had to be "gung-ho" to fly a Dear Old Stringbag. The Fairey Swordfish had three crew, a pilot who sat at the front behind the single engine, an observer in the middle  and a radio operator who was also a rear gunner at the back. When Crabtree first had to leap out of the pilot seat of a Swordfish, the plane was in a "spin" spiraling down toward the sea and somehow the centrifugal forces of the spin briefly trapped him in the rear gunner's seat. Our hero has his doubts.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Color

Vegetable Garden is good and colorful. Some of the color is as a result of filling in predicted gaps with annual ornamentals such as Zinnia, Gin's Hyacinth Bean and Marigold. Some of the color is a result of the volunteering seeds of Cyprus Vine and the pesky hybrids of Morning Glory. The Girl Cat prefers the Butterfly when she visits the Vegetable Garden, like me she's a tad nervous of the Humming Birds having had several unfortunate encounters with them. It's the tunnel vision I suppose, and it's very embarrassing to elegantly leap all four feet into the air and fly splat into a fence. Trust me when a Humming Bird squeaks he or she is laughing at those of us who might be earthbound, non-migrating bumpkins.

It's that time of year for Goldenrod, Iron Weed, the bloom of Jerusalem Artichoke and a whole bunch of things the names of which defeat my capacity to recall, and it's the time of year for Caterpillar. There's a white hairy one in the Chard, there's a grey reddish one in the last of the Beans, there's much doodling around and feasting on what remains of the actual vegetables. And I had to weed the Strawberry bed, couldn't leave it any longer, the Toad who has his burrow there popped out to give me the evil eye, I rather weakly apologized for disturbing his morning as I tip-toed around him and the Girl Cat just yawned at him, she knows all about frothing at the mouth. How quickly they all grow up.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Unifying Theory of Being

There are many questions. What time is it? But in the common spaces of the higher Cathedrals there are two big questions. The one has to do with what is the universe. The other is casually referred to as the Mind Body Problem or ontology, The Ghost in the Machine, and much easier to call it Being. The Ancients looked at the universe, and like today they had many ideas, all of them kind of summarized by The Cave. What we see are shadows of the real cast by the sun upon the floor of the cave, and like a guessing game we try to work out what those shadows might be.

The more mechanical minded came to the conclusion that one solution to better understanding was to develop tools that would enable us to better grasp what it was that caused the shadows. Call it science. Science put men on the moon, but it doesn't yet know what the universe is and it has not yet found a solution to the Mind Body Problem. My own view is that these two big questions will be answered at the same time. I say this because consciousness, or Being is a property of the universe we can only ever experience. I think your point to me might be "you sound like a total nut." And my answer to your point is "Yes."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fruit Fly

There's what you call a Fruit Fly Outbreak in the domicile. My own suspicion is that prior to a recent purchase of Onion and Potato from a corporate source there were no Fruit Flies in the domicile, and the kitchen was a picture of harmony, there was no twitching, there were no sudden bursts of swatting activity that so distress the Girl Cat. Nor was there any sense of the world having suddenly come to an end with the inevitable casting around for whose fault it might be and how a wall might be raised to protect the purity of kitchen ambience.

It reminds me a little of distant conversation I still recall with clarity. My companion was convinced the Thistles that plagued him had arrived on a load of hay from Canada. There was in his mind no other explanation for it. No sense of Thistle Down being unconstrained by international land borders, instead there was lurking suspicion that Canadians had plotted against him. But the thing about these Fruit Flies, they look bigger, more voracious in a swarthy kind of way and I am increasingly convinced they're the result of genetic engineering by the manufacturers of household pest control products.



Friday, September 16, 2016

Cornfield

Being a boy my role includes taking the trash to the end of the road in ample time for it to be collected by the mandated trash collection service. It's seven or eight hundred yards from here to there and by the time the trash is gathered and if the vehicle starts, the round trip is something like fifteen minutes. The Artist's role is to congratulate me for having performed the chore and this is done by asking whether or not I was privy to any excitements during my adventure to the end of the lane.

I guess everything's relative in the grand scheme of excitements, but today I was able to confirm that yesterday's late afternoon loud engine noises had to do with harvesting a cornfield. This is the Maize type corn, not the Wheat type corn. There was suggestion that it did seem a little early to be harvesting the Maize and there was some grumbling about the lack of rain, high temperatures and grasshopper in the fall Lettuce. Interesting too, and not many people yet know this, but Saint Timothy was born in a Visigoth cornfield, it must have been the fall of 720 AD, a good 20 years before the Berber Revolt against Damascus, and a good 10 years before the Bearded Goat Incident. It would have been Wheat type cornfield.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ecclesiastes

There are apparently 800 verses in the bible devoted to money. Let's take one such verse from Ecclesiastes which is a book of the Old Testament, or the Hebrew Bible, and the word Ecclesiastes means something like gatherer of wisdom. It can also mean something like Preacher. While no one knows who actually might have written the book, there's a suggestion that whoever did write it may have written it in the 3rd Century BC. The other thing is the person who wrote the book reckoned he might have been a king who through the course of the book jotted down a series of ideas about a better way of being in the world. In my view it's an observational book rather than a treatise on good and bad, and there are bits in it that can make a reader nod wisely and smile. Then of course there's the interesting problem of translation from the ancient to the modern.

If I had to chose what it was that God might have said and how he might have said it, I'd go for the King James Bible. In it's time it was a bit of a departure, and no doubt there was a lot of grumbling from fans of even older translations, but that's us people for you, and I can't help but say that the more recent translations, like an electric guitar in chapel, do in my view curl God's toes in their attempts to further clarify the beautiful mystery the Books of the Bible attempt to describe. Ecclesiastes 5:10 from King James - "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity." The Common English Bible, translated in this current century, has this for Ecclesiastes 5:10 - "The money lover isn't satisfied with money; neither is the lover of wealth satisfied with income. This too is pointless." And at the risk of going to hell, I'm never going to read a Psalm from the Common English Bible.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hardware Products

Protein is a Polymer. Lots of small molecules locked into each other to make a whole. A tough nut to crack, un-nuanced without elegance if you like. But some polymers have a horrible smell. Silicon caulk for example, and the kind of resins that require a hardener to activate and which are used for example to fill the cavities in rotting window sills that have been caused by the Oligarchy of Latex Paint. Don't be fooled by the tiny print which quietly suggests that over exposure to polymer resins might not be a good thing for the brain stem, all you have to do is open the can and it gives a wise man a headache. One of the first plastics was called Bakelite. It was arrived at by a chemist in 1907, and in 1993 Bakelite was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark. A sure sign our species is in deep decline. The other thing about the smellier polymers is that they provide a Happy Harry who might be too lazy to use wood to replace his rotting wooden window sill, with a quick and easy fix. Often followed by a little bit of a lie down.

The convenience of plastics is mind blowing. Nor does it really degrade. As I understand it the oceans are full of it, and some of it contains a formaldehyde that gives it an extra longevity as well as an ability to resist mold and sooty blooms. My window sill repair was a phenol formaldehyde resin, and no doubt the remaining wood in the window sill will soon enough be long gone leaving an oddly shaped plastic artifact that could well be a collectible to future, hopefully more sensible generations. Either way, the point is there's a resin that cures crystal clear, and it's perfect for an N Scale water feature. The wretched river that runs through Saint Barbara's County would shine and sparkle, and everybody would go "that looks nice." Well there's a new broom in Saint Barbara, to hell with water features, as soon as the weather gets cold, I'm going to do away with the river. I think it's a perfect spot for the White Horse of Effingham, or maybe a Nunnery. Gosh it's exciting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pepper and Okra

Endless supply of Peppers and Okra. Feel like Becket's King, Henry II. Who will release me? Definitely time to give consideration to the martyrdom of Pepper and Okra, given time I'm sure the Pope will get his mind around it, after all being nasty to the planet, or wasting parts of it, is an increasingly sinful activity.

Mind you, as I understand it, these days there isn't an office of Devil's Advocate, so granting the title of saint to a vegetable could prove tricky. The Rabbit of course at his first attempt missed out on sainthood and in the end the reason why had to with a Trout Run in the Monnow River. Who knew the delegate from Rome would be such a keen fisherman.

Monday, September 12, 2016

An Authentic Outbreak

Big day here amongst the interstitial fluids, think of it as the oil in a venerable Briggs and Stratton and let's hope for a working oil pump so that slopes can be climbed without the kind of damage that precedes the white smoke of surrender. Our hero has entered the portal, it was built in the Victorian Age. The roof, in places, leaks from lack of funds, the damp produces interesting blooms on ceiling plaster, windows wait months for the glazier, but the food is good for those not accustomed to the much-ness of plenty, the Cherry flavored jelly is the treat for good behavior and on the Sunday lunch there are tinned Mandarin Oranges in it. And oh yes, Crabtree has accepted the existence of The Rabbit. Which is an awesome temptation.

And by "awesome" your writer of pulp himself sits upon the precipice, stares down into the wonderland of a narrative that pulls its strength from something like a toothache, rather than a whole well thought out series of considerations, or what I supposed some might call plot. The thing about plot, it reduces exploration, becomes more like the hurdle race where highly tuned thighs leap fences to reach a preordained conclusion. Call it a climax and you'd be right to blush at the sight of a straight line that runs so endlessly it could be called pointless. However, down here we are what Walking Stewart calls a Beast in the Forest, or more properly a Beafft of the Forefft. Two F's equaled an S for the printer in the 18th Century. And the other thing worth noting, I know how the Rabbit of Usk ends, and I'll call it cheating to save you the trouble.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Politics and Paint

Many years ago I chose to believe that paint would dry quicker if the object painted was left to sit in the sun. This was of course a real paint, none of this thin with water Happy Harry nonsense type paint. This paint was genuine nerve damage if inhaled type paint, two minutes of painting and three hours cleaning the brushes type paint. It was the real McCoy, hard as rock, had to be sanded for a second coat type paint. And at the same time this paint did not dry well in the sun. What happened was, the top of the coat would harden preventing the underside of the coat from hardening, and you got these sort of third degree burn type blisters on your perfect surface. Certainly a learning experience, which was never repeated.

And while I'm thinking about it, I'm going to wax a little on the subject of Latex Paint, Acrylic Latex Paint all of which is far too thick and so very proud of the "No primer needed and water clean up" you've got to know that somewhere along the line you're getting badly ripped off by some Public Relations Department where they wouldn't know the difference between a paint brush and a glass of non-fat full-cream milk. And I'll tell you this, Latex Paint without any suggestion of Acrylic in its ingredients is probably the worst paint a person ever came up with, it's the Oligarch of paint. But if all you have is Latex paint and you've got wood to prepare for the winter your best plan is to reckon on dramatically watering down the first coat so that at least some of it will get sucked in by the wood and won't just sit on top while everything rots around it.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Arrivals

Chapter Thirteen. Your writer of pulp thought of calling it "Arrivals." It's a word he's familiar with from a past life in the course of which he often found himself at an airport, being thanked, prior to being released from the bedlam of an airplane, by that peculiarly difficult breed of overseer, the Air Steward or Air Stewardess. And the thing about getting off an airplane is to hunt down the word "Arrivals" otherwise a person can get very lost, which can lead to problems not so much of orientation rather of the "Authorized Persons Only" kind. And if memory serves, the other thing about getting off an airplane is everybody knows exactly what they are supposed to be doing, they are all in a terribly important hurry and none of them are very helpful, a little like Wal-Mart or that stain on consumerism Hechinger's Hardware Store, and this is a recipe for bolshevism in those of us prone to isolationist instincts. Nor is this reaction a wise one on the part of an airplane traveller, because the third thing about getting off an airplane are the eyes and ears of customs and immigration, both of whom take great pleasure in, for example, searching a suspected Bolshevik's suitcase or pulling him aside at the passport desk because he filled in his immigration form incorrectly, or his eyes don't look hazel because they turned green for no apparent reason.

The obvious question is why associate the Arrival at an airport via an airplane with the Arrival at a Tri-County Lunatic Asylum via the back of a four wheeled transit vehicle. Well it's kind of similar. The transit van is almost like being inside an airplane. In some respects it's actually nicer, there's no steward prancing up and down an aisle challenging people to purchase duty free brandy, there's no question of a demonstration of how to put a parachute on, there's no pointless literature, but there are fellow passengers, some of them on the edge of gibbering, but much better behaved than the precocious child that so often turn a person sour on travelling by airplane, and there is a window a person might get a view out of while wondering how much longer. Then when the transit vehicle "lands" there are fierce directions from the uniformed staff to remain seated until the severely disabled are unshackled, an event which can grant opportunity for the slightly less disabled to demonstrate Bolshevistic tendencies, which is a good opportunity for uniformed staff to set the tone by resorting to a little customs and immigration type manhandling. After that, it's almost exactly like an airport, the only difference is that none of the travellers know what they're doing and the nicer thing is that no traveller even pretends to know what they're doing and everybody gets searched, which is refreshing.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Crabtree

I think at one time or another Hugh Crabtree might have been a Bespoke Tailor. Either that or he was the Black Sheep of some wealthy family. Or possibly the bastard child of a Peer of the Realm. He might even have been orphaned as a babe and raised in the pocket of a Kangaroo, who knows. I can say that when it comes to title we people truly are obsessed with origins. Can't go far in the ancient literature without coming across lists of who begat who. Even today, there's a whole thing with antecedence, someone will claim a Founding Father as an ancestor and the oyster is open on the assumption there's a pearl inside it. Then, those of us who are if you like opposite tend toward a different view from a history of examples which suggest that such an oyster is best left closed because it most likely contains a halfwit. Don't get me wrong, to make it pompous Plato's Men of Gold were drawn from the mass and trained from a young age, they weren't born golden, they were bureaucrats.

In this area I'd argue that much of it has to do with an imperative within the success of social cohesion that males should care for their children. Doesn't say much for us boys of course, nor does it guarantee that males will take care of their children. The concubines of Timur the Lame probably produced thousands of children, yet it was the children of his six wives, especially the boys, who were deemed worthy of title, inheritance and well arranged marriages. For those interested, Timur, or Tamerlane as he was called in the Christian west, in the course his conquests may have been responsible for killing 17 million people, or 5% of the world's estimated total population in the 14th Century. World War Two killed around 3% of the world's people. Any how! The lesson of Crabtree's character, while it could well be struggling at the moment with the effects of endless rounds of Okra on the mental processes, is primarily that his origins are mysterious, they don't fit into a slot. In another way, the man is Free. Ecce libero, to make it as pompous as Hugh himself

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Psalm 23

Can't say much until it rains heavily from the south west, and your correspondent is well aware that over-confidence, hubris, general strutting around and addressing God as an equal is a prime error at such positive moments as this.

Well worth framing the tenets of any Faith as a kind of earthly therapy. The doctrine emerges from the direness or otherwise of a circumstance. And currently when it comes to leaks and their mysterious ways I find myself veering towards being made to lie down in green pastures.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Quarks and Leaks, a Unitary Theory

Roof leaks, window leaks, all kinds of leaks are up there with the great mysteries of the universe. Give me a quark, ask me to understand it, and I can always make something up that sounds roughly right even if in my heart I know that I'm more interested in knowing what it might be like to be a quark, an elementary particle that cannot be observed until it becomes one with others and begins to look something like the hadrons. As a quark I would have an electric charge, I would have a color charge, which is nothing to do with color and has more to do with shades of the three in one of a trinity, I'd have mass and I'd have spin, which is something that in my current configuration as an aging brain on top of a declining body I'm increasingly familiar with. Naturally not all quarks are the same. We come in six flavors and of these six flavors which are up, down, strange, charm, top and bottom, I believe that as a quark I'd come somewhere in the middle.

In some senses, and I'm prepared to argue this quite vehemently, the experience of being a window leak is very different from being a roof leak. Roof leaks drop down from the ceiling, they can make a little noise, and when caught in a bucket they can become musical. They don't creep about like slithering creatures, they're open minded, not shy, they tell it like it is. "Look at me I'm a roof leak!" And the answer to such an assertion from a well balanced two legged male of the species is a polite "Hello again." Window leaks on the hand enter that realm the legal mind might define as Terroristic Threatening. They are a Fifth Column and they are the reason any structure worth it's salt should preserve its integrity by having a secret police force, unanswerable to congress, with orders to shoot on sight. In my view a window leak is kind of like an atomic bomb just waiting to go off. And in terms of its flavors as a leak, single words have not yet been devised that can categorize window leaks in the same way that minds have given words to the rather wonderful quarks. Frankly I'd spit on a window leak if I could find it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Success

Dear Diary, today after much toil, stress and worry I became the proud owner of six ten foot lengths of seven eighth's of width steel alloy J channel in off white. And today, probably as a result of toil, stress, worry, aromas from rotting wood and Bumble Borer spittle I have the Head Spin. There's a technical name for it that's difficult to spell and sounds like the German for Sir, and under its influence a person can feel suddenly dizzy, staggers a little, feels as though he's going to fall over, his eyes feel as though they are fluttering, the more regular tone of his ringing in the ears changes pitch and invariably there's a sort of grunt. The first time this happens to a person, and if he makes the mistake seeking medical advice he gets his head x-rayed. Over time a rugged individual learns to adapt, he becomes stoic, and if I may say so, fairly heroic in the moping about sense. But the experience of it is one thing, what it looks like from the stand point of another is I begin to realize a little alarming at eight thirty in the morning, central time.

The metal merchant was, as they say, "awfully decent." He mentioned something about having knocked a few back himself over the Labor Day weekend, he went on a bit about The Grind, and I felt quite manly sitting on the one chair hoping that my eyes, which felt as though they were fluttering, didn't look as though they were fluttering. When it came to the particulars of my order, fortunately I had it all written down, but the financial transaction which invariably requires me to remember a telephone number and street address hit a brick wall. My own relationship with the telephone is such that even under ideal circumstances this feat is never easy, and I guess in the end that's why people have business cards so they don't have to remember this sort of trivia so often demanded by the Social Fabric Destroying Business Study's Graduate. And again I was lucky, in the area of remembering telephone numbers it seems that buyers of metal building materials often forget their telephone number and the metal merchant is very adept at just making one up.

Monday, September 5, 2016

In Common

Sounds more like Sunday than Monday, must be something going on. For those of us incapable of multi-tasking life is currently devoted to J channel, nothing else matters. A sad condition, I know, but consider the Girl Cat convinced that there's something behind the refrigerator, she can spend hours just staring at it in a more than alert manner, ready to leap into action. In this area she and I have far too much in common.

It's a compulsive personality, prone to obsessing upon the immediacy of something or other that might not be that important, or in her case could be a noise that might sound like a small furry rodent scurrying around under the refrigerator but is actually an indication that the refrigerator is elderly, tired, close to exhaustion and ready for the End of Times. Entirely possible J channel is also an interpretation of mind.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Long Distance

A long way to travel to visit a rest room. If I've counted correctly, it was a good three counties away, so we're almost talking passport issues, a tetanus shot and traveller's checks. Of course the promised aluminum J channel wasn't actually in stock. Twenty two of them in total were supposed to be in stock, but the half inch J channel shelf was totally empty, almost as though it was Christmas and there'd been some kind of an elf run.

Not that I'm that familiar with J Channels, but I know roughly what they're supposed to look like, I've seen them in diagram form, I've seen videos of them. Nor was the mega warehouse shopping experience one I will ever repeat. Mind you the restroom was incredibly clean, it looked unnaturally clean, a little sinister I thought. But more interesting there was a boys room, there's was a girls room, and there was a room for both boys and girls. Have to admit I was strangely tempted.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Crabtree

Don't yet understand Hugh Crabtree. I know what he looks like, he's Eagle Nosed, he's in his fifties, his hair is longer for a man of his age in 1970 something but his hair length has nothing to do with an older man keeping up with a younger generation. His hair has always been a longer, but not ponytail long. I forget his real name, he was very smart and pompous with it, but was subject to suicidal depressions, which meant he had to drink a lot even though I never actually saw him drunk. Oddly he was allergic to certain alcohols, which meant he had to take pills to see him through, and occasionally he'd disappear for a week or so, he'd return fresh, healthy looking and so delighted to be back he once gave me a hug which back then was considered an untoward and totally unnecessary behavior. A Bit of a Jaunt, he'd call his disappearances.

He had an intense dislike of PD Ouspensky and the spiritual mysticism that once filled the imagination of many who didn't have to work too hard for a living, and consequently were just a little bored by the ordinary things and didn't mind ff people knew how hard they were working at becoming even more special, like Hubbard's Scientologists of today, I guess. He could also explain such mysteries as Space Time as well as how the synapse worked and always difficult to know whether he knew what he was talking about because his manner was often such that he could be truly irritating if you didn't understand him. I liked him, many didn't and he'd often get himself into the kind of quarrels that could get a person banned from a bar. Usually about something very minor like the difference between a Whippet and a Greyhound. A majority called him Professor. Either way, our hero is locked up in an isolation ward with Hugh Crabtree as we speak.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Elgon Weather

Fresh North East breeze, sky very blue, an occasional powder puff cloud. It's an Elgon Day, and it would be nice if frost would wait until at least January, but we all know the first frost is usually in mid to late October round here. More astonishing, your correspondent is anticipating the colder weather with some enthusiasm. Takes humility on his part to admit it after getting on fifty years of moaning and groaning around the lot of anyone unnatural enough to have been given to ancestors who chose to call north of the Tropic of Cancer their territory, then spent centuries hell bent on a world domination they had the nerve to call civilization.

He remembers well that first experience of frigid darkness at three thirty in the afternoon, and no one seemed in the least alarmed by it. He felt as though he was surrounded by mental patients. Then there's that odiously chipper phrase "Have a nice summer" which still makes his toes curl a little, brings on a sneer and there's a certain undercurrent of pity in his reply "same to you." I could argue that your correspondent has finally assimilated, but to do away with any notion of humility I have to say that more likely it has to do with his massively important winter projects and yes we're talking a new monastic dynasty, we're talking Saint Timothy, N scale Trees and there might even be a Battle Ship of the Line that Hornblower would be proud of.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Compost

Compost Pile turning while obviously very good for the soul was today a little on the Snurk Factor side. Not a particularly well known category, but essentially it ranges from Snurk Factor One all the way to Snurk Factor Ten. A Snurk Factor Five would be something like the bloom of grasslands, clouds of yellow pollen, the odd sneeze, a slight head ache, running nose, aching bones, a suggestion of gout in the knee and a general sense of "why me" mitigated a little by the wonders of early summer. Above Snurk Factor Five, which begins around July 4th the outdoors is no longer white picket fence, straw hat and a moan about crabgrass, it requires grit, determination and the pioneer spirit, rare qualities for some of us, complete lunacy in the opinion of others..

Not certain what it was in the Compost Pile. Plenty of snails and slugs, a tribute to the damp weather, high levels humidity, dew on the ground well into the late afternoon. There were a couple of the more sinister mushrooms which in Snurk Factor terms is a sure sign of trouble. Can't believe it was the yellower of the two Compost Pile Slime Molds, far to elegant to have produced such a Compost Pile atmosphere. More likely the thread lace white one who just adores the drier plant material and will puff in an irritated manner when disturbed. There was a dark red, almost maroon, sootiness' around the edges of the pile, and a giant carnivorous centipede that I thought a little too aggressive. Either way, above Snurk Factor Eight you're looking at rotting mattress and a diligent gardener enters super hero territory. I guess my reward will be in heaven.