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Bramblings


Ramblings on life

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Oscar Pistorius has been in the news.  Year before last year he qualified to run in the Olympic games - against 'whole' athletes.  A few weeks later, at the Paralympics, he was whining because another double amputee who ran on blades had registered longer blades than his.  He didn't win that race.  Sportsmanship?  Hmmm.

  Later he had a really bad night and ended up shooting his then girlfriend.  He has been on trial for murder this year.  His trial has been televised.  Apparently he has done a lot of crying, in the dock, under cross-examination.  I gather the 'stiff upper lip' is not found in modern South Africa.

  At one point he said he never intended to kill anyone.  He woke, he said, he grabbed his gun, he went towards the (apparent) source of the noise - the bathroom.  And he fired his gun through the bathroom door, four times. 

  Hello.  Pardon my skepticism but . . . if you don't intend to kill anyone then surely you don't shoot at them? Durr?

  Ok, so I don't know about burglars and how they operate in 'his' part of South Africa, but it strikes me that Pistorius is a very confused young man, at very least.

    Y'all have a good day now!  And if you have a gun, mind how you use it!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
thoughtful thoughtful
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It's Good Friday, go figure!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
Current Music:
Crucifixion - Stainer
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Oh we woke up yes-day mawnin', looked at the clock - the hands were straight up and down.  6am!!!  H attained consciousness, he'd enjoyed the lay in, got up, got ready and left in very short order.  I turned over and went back to sleep.  H stayed late at work to make up for getting in late.  Ah well, the evenings are light now.  Last night he set the alarm!

  I finished the spiral socks for Mum, with undue amounts of jiggery-pokery as one of the colours had far less length of yarn to it.  Still, they look ok *Thinx: must remember to block them, they have 'construction lines'!*  They are made of leftovers from other pairs of socks, thus the materials were free, and they are fairly brightly coloured.  Thought I'd better make any more socks for Mum in really bright colours so she stands a chance of noticing them, should they fall on the floor, before the dog does.  Looks like I'm going to have to order some more yarn.  Oh dear!

  I don't know whether you've been caught by the heartbleed bug, Dear Reader.  I'm not sure whether we have either but H generally deals with banking and such and, being a Geek, is well equipped to deal with such things.  Pity the banks, etc aren't!  I fact with all the stuff about banks over the past few years - the greed of Bankers, Bank collapses, Bankers bonuses - even in bad years, and now heartbleed, well, it makes me wonder why we use banks at all.  Is there any alternative?  Back to paper-based banking anyone?  Hah!  Can anyone do the required arithmetic these days?

  There now, off to search out some brightly coloured sock yarn.  Y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
annoyed annoyed
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Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that we all have to do something, something major, to cut our carbon emissions - or else.  Meanwhile the residents of coastal Dorset are dead agin having an offshore wind farm near them.  Residents of other places are dead agin having land based wind turbines near them and, like the residents of the Gosport peninsular, don't want solar farms near them either.  Nobody wants fracking, near them or anywhere else, apart from the Government who will, they hope, make money from it.  And no-one wants a nuclear power station anywhere.  Nuclear power isn't just for now, it's for life, and half-life can be a very long time.  Long, long after the station has been decommissioned and 'safely' put to rest.

  OK, then, all you NIMBYs, how do you want all the electricity you so enthusiastically consume produced?  And where?  I mean, we could buy it from France, or somewhere.  France seems to have things better planned, nuclear, renewables etc.

So What Can We Do?Collapse )
  So come on all you governments.  Heed the reports, look further ahead than the next election, or the one after that, and get on and finance things - having fully thought through the processes so they work as intended (producing efficient 'green' methods of power generation) rather than as get-rich-quick schemes for the unscrupulous.  It's hardly rocket science is it?
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
thoughtful thoughtful
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Last night I watched the BBC summary of the concert given in honour of the visit of the Irish President, Michael D Higgins.  A gathering of famous Irish writers, singers, dancers and musicians to speak, sing, play and dance their way through Irish culture.  Though I reckon the singers and writers had to dance their way very carefully through Irish history to pick items which weren't too 'sensitive' and therefore might have dimmed the current bright outlook on Irish-British relations.  Good it was too - there was even a speech by the President.  There was quite a lot of modern stuff, by people born long since the Troubles, probably since the Good Friday Accord too, therefore more hopeful.  Go Google the terms, Dear Reader, that's an education in itself.

  Anglo-Irish relations have been more of the combative kind for hundreds of years, what with English kings laying claim to large tracts of the Emerald Isle.  Not to mention generations of uninterested absentee landlords.  Once Ireland exported Christianity to Dark Age Britain, more recently it's exported workers - many to building sites as one writer (whose use of English put me very much in mind of Dylan Thomas) recalled, less recently it's exported terrorists/freedom fighters - this was barely mentioned at the concert.  Though the last item, a somewhat maudlin rendition of The Auld Triangle, was, I gathered from the introduction, of decided political origins (which were skipped over).

  I reckoned the televising suffered from the modern craze of having to change the viewpoint every twenty seconds or so to keep the attention of the ADHD computer game raised generation.  This wasn't so bad when someone was singing, or a band playing, but when there are dancers dancing why the heck switch to a shot from the gods?  They were good dancers too, from what we were actually allowed to see.  Traditional Irish step-dancing as updated by Michael Flatley and Riverdance.

  Actually, apart from the Producer's itchy fingers over the camera angles, I enjoyed the concert.  Remembering News reports all through the Troubles myself it was good to hear and see something so positive.  Even if the spin was so positive it became a little unreal at times.  Can't help wondering how things will be commemorated in a few years' time though - the Dublin Easter Uprising of 1916, then the forming of the Irish Independent State in 1922 and the division of the country, with all the internecine warfare between and since.  And they'll have to be commemorated in some way.  After all, those who don't remember their history are condemned to repeat it.  Of course, there are some kinds of remembering which seem to force the rememberers into perpetuating the atrocities.  And we can all do without repeats of the worst parts of Anglo-Irish relations - perhaps the Irish most of all.

  Hmmm, back to sock knitting methinks.  Y'all have a good day now!
Tags:
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
Current Music:
The Auld Triangle - traditional Irish song
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H likes Camembert.  I'm not so sure.  Currently we have one/part of one sitting in its wooden box, in a supposedly airtight tupperware box, in one of the 'salad boxes' at the bottom of the fridge.  There is a definite whiff of something when the fridge is opened.  I begin to wonder whether Camembert is the cheese referred to by Jerome K Jerome when writing about cheese in Three Men in a Boat.  You know, cheese being the kind of thing, like paraffin, which wants the whole boat to itself.  This Camembert certainly seems to want the whole fridge to itself, though it has yet to flavour anything else.  Hmmm (and it does) perhaps I should have a go at cleaning the fridge first - things being innocent until proven guilty and all that!

  I finished the green socks, paired them, labelled them (so I don't have to remember the intended recipient) and put them in the Sock Gifts bag.  Then I dug out three ends of balls of yarn and started another pair, in red, green and a mix-dyed yarn which varies between green and red via yellow and white*.  This pair is done in the three-yarns-on-three-needle-spiral method.  Dead easy, just don't pull yarns too tight when you change over, I'm well up the leg of the first one now, having started toe-up.  What has this to do with cheese?  Well, you wear socks on your feet?  And what are feet said to smell of?

  And (almost) unrelated to cheese, but about H - the poor man wakes at silly-o'clock mornings, gets up soonish, leaves for work around 6.10am.  Most evenings he's back around 5pm, whereupon he may sit on the settee, slip sideways and sleep, complete with gentle snoring, for an hour or so.  Other evenings he may get in a little later, so he tends to slip sideways after tea and snores for an hour or so between 8 and 9pm.  This is NOT a Good Idea, too near bedtime.  Though he insists that no matter how tired he is downstairs, put him near or in bed and he wakes up again.  I wonder whether he might do better sleeping on the settee for a couple of nights, cricks in neck and back and all, for all he says he has difficulty sleeping without me.  Mind you, he's not too good at getting himself off to bed at a sensible time anyway.  Takes about an hour and then it's gone, maybe even well gone, 11pm.  No wonder he's tired.

  This afternoon I told him to lie down and try catching up with his rest.  He is.  It wasn't a ploy to get time on the computer.  Merely a ploy to get him to sleep a bit when and where he can.  I dunno, sleep hygiene anyone?

  Which is about it for this week.  Y'all have a good day now!



*These are for Mum.  Her dog has taken to picking up dropped socks or pairs of socks and carrying them around.  By the time Mum retrieves them they have holes.  If the dog is going to use her socks as chew toys I'm not investing in the best yarns for him!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
calm calm
Current Music:
the fridge-freezer humming Does it not know the words?
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So Maria Miller has left her cabinet job (just) before she was pushed, and after that 'apology' perhaps she needed a shove.  David Cameron had been giving her 'his full backing' the past few days - and we've seen what that can mean.  Ms Miller was after all one of only four women in his cabinet, but in the end she had to go.  She had cheated the system of over £40,000.  The people who deal with cheating MPs had decreed she should repay less than £6000.  The Opposition, and various papers, have been having a field day.

  The rest of us have been of the opinion that had we tried something similar - say someone on benefits had been fiddling their housing benefit or some such - we'd have been Off to Jail, not passing Go, not collecting £200, with large fines, in very short order.  And rightly so.

  Not so Ms Miller.  She is an MP, she gets different treatment.  Hmmm, one law for the rich and one for the poor?  Is it any wonder that more people are prepared to trust Estate Agents than Politicians, though most people will tell you that they don't trust either.  Not even as far as they can see them let alone throw them!

  It's the usual case of "quis custodet custodes ipsos?" - literally "who guards the guards?", "who polices the police*?"  Or in this case "who polices the MPs?"  Because clearly someone has to.  The not so recent furore over MPs expenses showed that, under that system, MPs were almost incapable of policing themselves.  Almost incapable, too, of not taking the then system for every penny (or every £1000) they possibly could.  Things have been changed now, they tell us.  Hmmm, don't the French have a saying about that?  Something along the lines of, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose."

Aujour d'hui le soleil brillait.  I'm off to enjoy it.  Y'all have a good day now!


*The Independent Police Complaints Commission
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
annoyed annoyed
Current Music:
"With Cat Like Tread" - Pirates of Penzance - Gilbert & Sullivan
* * *
I was watching something last night and started musing about the 'white glove' policies of different libraries and archives.  There was the presenter, white gloved, viewing plans for a house and gardens from the 1920s.  Yet another programme showed a different presenter, bare handed, looking through an early (think 1500s) printed book - which is probably at least as rare as the 1920s maps.  Still another library insists on white gloves and a foam 'cradle' for books so that they don't open so far as to damage the spine.  Who decides the 'white glove' policies for libraries?  Ah well, thanks to Project Gutenberg we can now access many rare books online, so that'll be coffee, donuts, lunchtime sandwiches, the lot!

  I've been knitting a pair of socks in Knitting Goddess sock yarn.  Lovely stuff in a semi-solid green.  I don't know whether you've noticed, Dear Reader, but green yarn is fairly hard to come by.  Specially the kind of leaf green a knitters heart calls for at this time of year.  I've ordered 'green' yarn from the web only to find it nearly black/almost grey/not the right shade of green at all.  You know the kind of thing - you can envisage the kind of green you want, but can you find it?  Can you heck*!  It's almost enough to drive a person to dyeing!  Not least because colours rendered on a monitor can bear very little resemblance to colours in Real Life (see comment about green yarns above).

  Anyhew apart from the whole shading thing, I knit the one sock top-down as per pattern.  Then I thought 'whatever' and decided to knit the other sock toe-up.  This is simply a matter of reading and working the pattern backwards - read 'increase' for 'decrease' etc, which is great til you come to turn the heel.  The first sock has a flap and gusset heel, so the second sock has to have one.  I now know a lot more about the architecture and construction of flap and gusset heels - and all while watching TV, the programme about the 1920s house and garden.

  There now, Prince George has had an official engagement in New Zealand.  I know the Queen was offloading some of her duties to younger members of the family but . . .  The modern face of Monarchy, you have to start 'earning your keep' before you're one year old!  Cute baby.

  And Finally, a thought - the Swiss must've been pretty confident in their chances of victory if they included a corkscrew on their army knife.


*LYS - pur-lease, they go out of business faster than many other kinds of shop, and ours seem to stock mainly versions of acrylic yarn, or fancy stuff.  Of sock yarns they do not have extensive selections, if they carry it at all, hence the rise of on-line Yarn suppliers.  And the whole 'what colour is this yarn actually?' problem.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
amused amused
Current Music:
Piano Concerto No 1 - Rachmaninov
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Regular readers will know that I like to know what is going on in the skies, for all that we may not be able to see them from here.  What with the 'ahses in between, the clahds in between and the general light pollution from all the streetlights etc - for all we've had different, and supposedly less light polluting, street lights around here for a few years now.

  I'm not sure what the BBC have done with this month's episode of The Sky at Night, I suppose they'll screen it eventually, or maybe I've missed it.  Darn!  I regularly visit a couple of astronomy websites, nothing too technical you understand.  Today I discovered this



  A picture of the Orion Nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.  I'm not too sure whether it is actually those colours, it's probably space dust, or they've been assigned for different wavelengths of light as the nebula was photographed, but whatever!  I may not be able to see the Orion nebula that easily from here, but on a clear night I can see Orion.  It will be visible for a month or two more, before he heads off to hunt in Southern latitudes, then returns in August/September.  There now, something which heads south for summer, bit of a rarity around here!  Apparently the Orion Nebula, aka M42, spans about forty light years and is located in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun.  I think it looks like some gorgeous exotic flower.

  While thinking of flowers, one of the blooms on the Hipeastrum has gone over.  One is beginning to look a bit dodgy and the other is fine.  Ah well, they're nice while they last.

  And Finally - a Manager and management system which treats employees as people!  Bring them on!  I mean, management sleepovers may seem a bit much, but a system which treats employees as people has got to be a Good Thing.  Right?

  On which thought, y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
Awestruck
Current Music:
Venus, the Planet Suite - Gustav Holst
* * *
We were wondering how much longer it would be, what with it having been warm for several weeks and the clocks going forward last weekend bringing in light evenings.  One evening last week, around tea time there was a knock on the front door.  H went, Small Boy, very apologetic, his football had gone into our yard, could he have it back, please?  H duly chucked it back over the wall.

  A while later the door went again.  I answered, Small Boy, possibly a different one, not so apologetic, could he have his ball back, please?  I'll deal with this, I thought.  "Yes, I'll return it now.  But if it comes back over our wall I shan't return it again.  OK?"  Go look round the back yard, notice another tulip trying to fight its way clear of the honeysuckle*, finally find ball, under some honeysuckle, throw it back over the yard wall.  "Thank you!" from Small Boy.  And off they went to bother someone else - not, I hope, intentionally, but when you have a football, in these streets, what can you do but bother the neighbours?

  Last year I asked one of the Small Boys, looked about six years old or so, why they didn't take their football over the Rec and play.  "We aren't allowed over there" was the reply.  Hmmm, they're not allowed to play over the Rec, well, it is a couple of streets away and all, but they are allowed to kick their ball at neighbours' houses?  Should their father turn up 'apologising' this year I may just put that to him.  Our two were never allowed to wander the nearby streets with footballs, or throwing stones at people's windows after all.  Yes, it can be difficult with active Small Boys, but you chose to be a parent, didn't you?  Get with it and do something about them before they become complete yobs.  Like, perhaps, teaching them ways to amuse themselves which don't bother the neighbours.  Gah!

  Local schools broke up for the Easter holidays last Friday, so I suppose the Small Boys with Football will be around during the day too, provided it's not raining!  It is raining at present.  w00t!

  To more pleasant things - H bought me some daffodils this weekend.  They arrived all fairly tightly furled but with yellow showing, and proceeded, over the next day or so, to open out fully - when it became apparent that the one vase just wasn't going to be big enough.  Dig out brown jug.  There now, two vases of daffodils with yellow petals and vivid orange fluted trumpets.  Hope they'll last the week.

  That'll do.  Y'all have a good day now, and don't go bothering your neighbours!


*I really must cut that honeysuckle back before it takes over the whole yard.  Trouble is it's green, one of the few green things around here.  And it'll be flowering in another month if I leave it.  Hmmm, prune back in September or so?  Then there'll be the question about what to do with the prunings.  We don't have a compost heap, don't have the space, and the city council charges to remove the odd bag of 'green waste'. I just hope that, having specifically charged for it's removal, they compost all such assigned green waste, rather than just burying it at the local tip, sorry, Civic Amenity Site!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
amused amused
Current Music:
Die Valkirie - Wagner
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