28 October 2006
19 October 2006
The unknown historian graduate turns out to be my first cousin, once removed. (Why does he call me "Uncle", then? That threw me off track for a bit)
He was somewhat dark vis a vis the picture - supposedly "not looking at his best". The vanity of youth. Here's a better one.
I'm pleased to report that he's learning Russian. (Probably got his eye on one of these Slavic flossies) Doesn't explain away the perceived need to write to me in the bloody language, but anyway. At least he sticks to normal letters - not this funny Cyrillic stuff.
Not many people know this, but the word Cyrillic has its root in Cyril (as in Cyril Knowles, the Tottenham player in the 1970s) and was adopted as the preferred alphabet after the appearance a hit song of the time, the lyrics of which are posted below
Хороший один сын,
Позволяет имеют другой*
Now, how many alphabets have songs written about them? Not many that I'm familiar with.....
*Nice one Cyrillic,
Nice one son,
Nice one Cyrillic,
Let's have another one
National Portrait Gallery
12 October 2006 - 21 January 2007
And we can't get to see it.
Pisses me off massively, especially after being blown away - really blown away - by his exhibition at the Royal Academy a couple of years ago.
Here's the link.
18 October 2006
14 October 2006
So we've got a Japanese TV studio, a John Lennon look-alike (clutching what looks like an 8-string - but it's really only 6 - Fender), a bird in a maternity smock with curlers in her hair and they're singing the praises of Litteru Featu. (The bloke at least. The curlered bird seems a mite clueless about the whole deal. "Mmmm, Aaaah, Hai!" In awe, no less.)
All you need is for Bill Murray to wander in from Stage Left and it's "Lost in Translation" deja vu.
And all we get is 2 minutes and 50 seconds of "Long Distance Love" - not even the complete song - but it's exquisite.
Christ, I love this band.
What they did until 29 June 1979, at least. After that, they were "just another band from LA".
Check out YouTube for more. And these guys for live concert mp3s
Fine looking lad, though. Obviously a budding academic. The cufflinks give him away as a historian, I'd say. Pom, too. Same backdrop as the Queen uses for her official portraits.
He looks vaguely familiar, but I'm buggered if I can put a finger on it...
Can someone jog my memory, perhaps?
13 October 2006
And a great place for excellent line-shoots.
A Hunter sqn in Aden
Sqn in bar till God knows when one night and a certain amount of damage/mild(?) high jinks ensued.
Next day, Sqn boss called into Stn Cdr and given huge roasting and told to sort his sqn out with major bollocking.
A bit later, Boss calls all into his office - with hats on -and gets them to stand to attention in front of him.
He then comes round the other side of the desk --- puts on his hat --- presses 'play' on the tape recorder and proceeds to accept a major bollocking (that he'd recorded) with his troops.
12 October 2006
My links with Nelson are tenuous.
After Mum married Tom Roberts at the fine old age of 75, they moved to Mot in 1991 and lived there until they passed on (or "fell off the perch", as Tom would say) - she in 1998 and Tom in 2003.
So our first encounter with Nelson was in 1992 and our vists have continued at a fairly regular biennial rhythm since then.
It's an excellent place - a vibrant cultural scene, great weather, great wines, great food, great countryside....
We've got adopted family there and a bunch of people whose company we really enjoy. Which is why we keep going back.
And they've always had a really good community radio station - Fresh FM. Which had a really shonky streaming service. (Listen for 2 seconds, wait 5. If it ever worked.)
Up until last week, that is.
Instant gratification at 32Kbps.
Think National Public Radio with a local flavour. And accent.
For me, radio doesn't get much better...
11 October 2006
I enjoy reading, but it's the tactile and visual experience that I really like.
And this is a very nice book.
It's from Phaidon Press and is subtitled "New Perspectives in Photography"
The cover looks like the Periodic Table. (That much Ken Buckley taught me in 6th Form Chemistry at Westlake. Not much else, but at least that.)
But if you look closer, you'll see that Dg isn't the abbreviation for Daggonium but links to David Goldblatt.
And what you think is the atomic number is the page of his entry
They should have won a design prize. Maybe they did.
He did, for sure.
1 faded MGB
1 Saturday afternoon
Gallons of cutting compound
2 power buffers
1 flying helmet
1 hard hat
1 floatation vest
1 RAF flying suit
1 "Take a German bird out tonight" t-shirt (Lufthansa's advertising was witty back then...)
Copious amounts of alcohol
Light touch paper and retreat to a safe distance to observe amateur Dirty Raincoat Flashing and Rodin Thinking.
And we still think that we're deluding ourselves when we dream that life was more fun back then....?
10 October 2006
Macroglossum stellatarum - or Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Or Pigeontail in German. (Go figure)
Hovers over a flower, in goes the proboscis, - wham, bam, thank you, maam. Zap - he's gone. Next flower, wild panning to keep up. And he's like a postie - pretty much the same route every day at about the same time.
Which sort of confirms what the boffins say about his ability to recognise colours.*
Gets up as far as Finland which - at 60°N - is 10° further north than we are and a good 25° away from home. And then he dies.
Unless he gets back over the Alps in time. Which we hope he does.
* Now, here's a good link-in.
Richard Feynman was interviewed in a film called "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" and said:
I have a friend who's an artist and he's sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say, 'Look how beautiful it is,' and I'll agree, I think. And he says, 'You see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you, as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.
And I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too,I believe, although I might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is; but I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time I see much more about the flower that he sees. I can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty....
Also, the processes, the fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting - it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: Does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which shows that a scientific knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds; I don't understand how it can subtract.
Richard Feynman's a true treasure and worth his own blog entry.
Good idea, Johnny.
Heat wave in June and July (so everything hibernated)
Cold and wet in August (so nothing grew)
Really nice since then
So we're a fair way behind the growing curve, they've stopped ripening and they don't really taste like they should.
Frying pan, decent olive oil, tomatoes (red, yellow and cherry), sea salt, freshly ground pepper, a few sprigs of winter savoury.
Stew them until the juice is nicely thickened, sling them onto one of Nigel Lambert's plates, top them off with some buffalo mik mozzarella stuffed with ricotta (quite excellent) and some (last of the Summer) basil.
Sit in the sun, look up at the cloudless sky and think: "Aren't we lucky"
I have no clue what it's good for, but it looks quite cool. (Someone will say "It's Web 2.0", at which point we all chorus "But of course" and look impressed, nodding our wise heads in unison...)
05 October 2006
I've had the paper carbon-dated by the fine folk at the Gutenberg Museum and it's definitely last millenium - probably even dating back to the late 1960's. Unburned hydrocarbon particles place it somewhere in California, so I'd hazard a guess and say "Road & Track".
Even better - well, maybe just mildly interesting - are the prices for the boys' toys stuff.
Bell racing helmets for $49. Major investment back then - in 2006 dollars, that would be around 250 bucks.
And who wasn't just the bee's knees, with their open-backed imported British leather driving gloves for $9.95....?
Those were the days.
04 October 2006
"Aren't we lucky people!"
That's what John Whatley would say. He says that quite frequently, in fact.
We're lucky, too.
Here in Somewhere In, we're pretty close to Mainz which - apart from
The Best Cathedral
The Best River
The Best Roman Ruins
The Best Market
The Best Famous Son - Man of the Millenium, no less
The Slackest Cultural Ministry
- has a church packed full of Marc Chagall's finest stained glass images.
And just 2 hours away in Baden-Baden ( "So nice" Bill Clinton said "they had to name it twice."), there's an exquisite museum
- designed by Richard Meier (Getty Center and chunks more)
- also packed chocker with Chagalls from private collections and museums from around the world that you'll never see in one place again.
Floating through a dark blue sky.
With a goat playing the violin.
Yes - happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat.
That's from Notting Hill
So get down there. Runs until the end of October.
03 October 2006
I like free.
Freer I like even better.
But I think I like their Help screen even better than freer
02 October 2006
There are 5 main chart types:
and (my favourite)
the Pie chart.......
X marks the spot, me hearties...