hirez: (dissent)
The thing I was going to write yesterday, but mutated into whining about IP addresses, turned out to be slightly deeper than I expected.

For reasons of retro, or perhaps for reasons of 'These are the things we have lying about' the washing line isn't a collapsible hurdy-gurdy (as Pa named all things that went round and round) like modern people from the seventies have to hang their bri-nylon outside so as to catch all the instant sunshine provided by a WE.177C free-fall thermonuclear device.

(Is is perhaps coincidence that people wore fewer nylon undergarments as CMOS logic became more popular?)

No. We do not have that sort of thing because our back garden is a nuclear-free zone. The front garden is handy for the front door, so is often at home to my Alpha-particle-emitting key fob. Which has been glowing quietly for at least twenty years.

So in our nuclear-free garden we must keep something that is not of the seventies and will not remind people of such things lest they have a march and make a right mess of the strawberries, the careless CND bastards. Thus the washing line is held up by a pair of what I'm fairly sure are scaff poles. They've gone a lot rusty and the hammerite I applied about a decade ago is beginning to flake off as the rust blooms outwards like spaceship fungus.

The one nearest the house has also been leaning at more and more of a drunken angle since the thing that was holding it upright no longer works.

There is an unknown length of RSJ (I-beam to everyone else) concreted into the garden, and it would be at an ideal height to bark one or other shin upon, were it not set in line with a low wall that holds up the alleged rockery. There is (or was) a very rusty V-bolt more-or-less pinning the bottom of the scaff pole to that RSJ, with the rotten remains of a lump of wood that was originally providing some squidge to tighten the V-bolt against.

It had all rotted out. A week or so ago, I poked at the thing with a stick, worked out how big the V-bolt was, and realised with something of a sinking feeling that I was setting a chain of events in motion when I toddled upstairs to order replacement bolts off the internets. I had also decided to buy myself an angle-grinder as a present, because, well, angle-grinder. Also because the existing V-bolt was single rusty lump and there wasn't enough WD-40 in the known universe to free off its nuts. (ooer, etc.)

The replacement V-bolts arrived on Saturday morning. The sun was bright and the air was clear and I peered at the things as they sat on the table, wishing for an excuse. I thought that I might as well inspect the old V-bolt again, since I would need to find a lump of wood in the shed to replace the rotten section. I waggled the pole back and forth, experimentally. Then thought 'Oh fucking bollocks to everything' and hauled at it. It lifted right out, which was tiresome. I scraped out the weeds, earth and rotten wood. The bottom end of the scaff pole came out next. It had completely rusted out, which is why I was able to move it at all.

I was committed now.

I dug out a junior hacksaw (I have several, but can only ever find one at a time) and cut away the rusty bolt. At some point, silly-sod the previous owner had performed some more concreting and made it impossible to replace the V-bolt, so I attacked that with a bolster until there was enough elbow room. In the shed, where I have been clearing space, I found the right lump of wood to squidge between RSJ and scaff pole.

I had the thing back in place and bolted firmly upright before I really knew what I was doing.

If there's a take-away from any of this, it's that I have some difficulty diving into projects that I'm not entirely sure about. 'Some difficulty' in this case probably also parses as 'sinking feeling and nameless dread, why not go and waste the afternoon on social media instead?' which is no real way to run a railroad.

The upside to some of this is that I obviously have collected enough random bits of wood that they're starting to come in very handy indeed. And also that there's the start of enough space in the shed/garage to be able to think small thoughts without having to go outside to change your mind.
hirez: (Sweep alcohol)
A somewhat surprising memory: the first time I consumed fish & chips from a chip-shop was while on a religious retreat in Staveley in 1977.
hirez: (Object)
It feels oddly decadent to have a fridge that was made in the C21st (CE), rather than some gurgling relic of empire. It's as if I should be keeping the sort of brightly coloured putty-like grub they scoffed on Discovery One (when not jogging or arguing with HAL) in the thing.

Internet-based serendipity: This turned up ([livejournal.com profile] andrewducker again) while I had this open in another tab.

I wonder if I should construct some sort of Eno-cards from the 'how to be interesting' doodles I mentioned the other day? I could do something like pick one a week and then fail to write about how guilty I felt about not doing anything with it.


Jun. 23rd, 2011 04:35 pm
hirez: (Feck!)
Since I've used the phrases 'And also with you' and 'Brethren; be sober, be vigilant' in the last couple of days...

... Actually, I don't have a point. Funny business, unconscious cultural signifiers.
hirez: (Default)
When you've been given secateurs and a bowsaw for Christmas presents, every problem looks like about five minutes hack and slash followed by several hours standing in the cold cutting up the bits of ex-shrub so they'll fit into the council-supplied brown bags.

Somewhere there's probably a picture of the place looking less like a bomb-site (You can tell it's a bomb-site because there's a Buddleia in the corner) and more like a garden, but for now you'll have to look at the 'after' picture.

The 'after' in this case is 'after being largely ignored for several years it's well past time to violently cut all the shrubs back, given some of them were full of dead bits; grub out as much of the ivy as possible; give the clothesline a going-over with a tin of Hammerite and generally have a bit of a tidy-up.

The thing is that I'm not a fan of formal gardens; I like the things to look as if the human bits are there on sufferance. It's just taken me a while to work out that even (especially, in some ways) an informal garden needs an amount of work.

Elsewhere, the splendid types at posteverything.com were good enough to prod me when vols 1 to 4 of the Sub Rosa 'Anthology of noise and electronic music' returned to stock. Since I can't afford to buy everything they carry, I mention them here so y'all may go to them for all your music-based Skronk, Fleem and Argle needs.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
The pottering continues.

Yesterday - Tyntesfield.

Bloody hell. None of the pictures I've seen do the place any sort of justice. (And all the ones I took are in the analogue camera) A large and rambling house seemingly cobbled together from several different ones, with a lathe room, gun room, electrical plant room and steam-heated billiard table with electro-mechanical scoring system. Marvellous.

Today - Clevedon Court. A smaller and older rambling house cobbled up from several bits. Recently home to a chap who bought a steam locomotive and was most put out to discover it wouldn't fit up the drive. However that didn't stop him filling the staircase with prints of interesting railway architecture.

A manor to which I could become accustomed. Yes.

Then a meander to the seaside at Clevedon. Really rather pleasant. On one hand, I suppose I'm having a quiet rage against the dying of the light. On the other, it's going to be three times as horrible when winter draws on properly.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Even the internet sometimes doesn't want you to know things. Dawley new town. STD code 0399
hirez: (irradiated)
Since there've been pleasing developments on the de-larding front, I'm now emitting snot like an over-enthusiastic Doris Stokes. I'd fondly imagined that I'd be otherwise unaffected, but no. I am considerably thicker than a woodshed stacked full of stout planks:

Remembering my own name and where I work - fair enough.
Abstract concepts or anything requiring more than two variables - Not A Chance.

Very poor.

Otherwise, I firmly commend the set of you to beetle off and purchase Punk Attitude (assuming I can make the link work), which is a very fine thing indeed and happily contains no Sham 69.


[FX: Stares into space in a gormless fashion]

This would happen when there's a failure of the Hell containment field at work. Arseo!
hirez: (Eisensniper)
One of the odder things I did at big school (other than turn up regularly) was work at the school press. This was an ex-book cupboard (ex-cupboard, rather than store for things that had once been books and were now embarking on second careers as rocket salesmen or wing-loss adjusters) that ponged of printing ink, paraffin, cardstock and teenage boys and filled with things like Adana 8-5s, leads, woods, quoins, founts and compositing sticks.

The worst things to try and print are traditional wedding invitations. The scalloped cards with the gold bits on were well expensive, the cursive typefaces are a bastard to read upside-down and backwards and getting the platen pressure right so as to ensure even printing is a nightmare if you don't do it regularly. Which you don't, because... And people really get a strop on if they're invited to a 'receptron'.

Anyway. The two worst non-printing jobs were dissing old jobs (not in the 'Yo! Typeface! Etc! sense, but in the 'dismembering badly-cleaned type and trying to work out if that's an 8-point Times New Roman 0 or TNR italic O') and cleaning out the dregs-bin.

Letterpress printing gives a chap a terrible thirst, thus we swilled tea like Tony Benn on a building site in the middle of August. However, there was no sink, so the tea-leaves, rancid milk and remnants from mugs (and indeed careful hot-water swillings in the mugs to 'clean' them on a Monday) were deposited in a large ice-cream tub. When this became over-full, some poor sod would have to carefully lever it out of its nest of congealed mank and walk it round at arm's length to the lower forms changing-rooms where it could be disposed of.


hirez: (Default)

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